East Texas pediatrician sees promise in new FDA-approved infant RSV drug
LINDALE, Texas (KLTV/KTRE) - Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a common virus that will infect nearly all children by the age of two.
According to the CDC, each year in the U.S. up to 80,000 children younger than five years old are hospitalized due to RSV. Most cases are mild, causing cold-like symptoms, but in some cases it can be deadly for infants and older adults.
“100 to 300 kids can die every year, and adults can be 6,000 to 10,000 a year,” said Dr. LaRaneé Braun, a pediatrician with Christus Health.
For some time, the treatment for this virus was limited to who could receive it.
“The only available preventative medicine is only given to those highest risk children,” said Braun.
Now, a new option will soon be available. After the FDA approved Nirsevimab, which is meant to protect all infants up to two years old.
“This new anti-body… instead of five consecutive monthly doses it’s a single dose and it’s just not for the high-risk kids.”
The treatment is not a vaccine, it’s a ready-made antibody that can bind to the virus and block it from infecting healthy cells. It’s given as a single injection before RSV season, which usually peaks in the fall and winter.
“It may not necessarily stop you from getting infection but help you from getting so sick coming into hospital.”
Braun said this is a breakthrough from previous treatment.
“This is a monumental change in RSV prevention, and we’ve not had this up until now,” said Braun.
In August the FDA’s advisory committee will meet to let healthcare providers know when this new treatment will be available.
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