RSV More Severe in Disabled Children
Acute viral lower respiratory tract infections cause by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections may be more severe in children with severe motor intellectual disabilities, according to a recent study published in the October 2013 issue of the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases.
The case-control study enrolled 18 children with severe motor intellectual disabilities and 43 non-disabled children younger than 16 years who were hospitalized with RSV-related lower respiratory tract infections during 5 consecutive RSV seasons. The researchers compared the clinical presentation and laboratory data of the children with disabilities with those of the control children.
The results indicated that children with severe motor intellectual disabilities were more likely to use ventilation support and to use oxygen longer than non-disabled children. Neutrophil counts were significantly increased in children with disabilities, and they were less likely to develop bacterial co-infections than non-disabled children.
The authors of the study conclude that children with disabilities diagnosed with RSV-caused lower respiratory tract infections were at a greater risk of developing hypoxia. They suggest that that the strategies to treat and prevent RSV infections in children with severe disabilities be improved.