Harriet asks, "What is the difference between an upper respiratory infection and RSV? Why do we need a vaccine for RSV if the virus has been around forever?"
RSV is one of many viruses that cause upper respiratory infections, like the common cold with mild symptoms like stuffy nose, scratchy throat, and cough. But in people at risk, such as seniors and babies, RSV can cause lower respiratory illness with deep cough, wheezing, and respiratory distress, and can be deadly. Up to 120,000 older adults are hospitalized from RSV each year in the U.S. and up to 10,000 die.
Dr. Mallika is offering her best advice, but as always, consult your personal doctor before making any decisions about your personal health.
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