Child wearing mask - REUTERS
CAIRO - 22 November 2022: The Egyptian Ministry of Health held a press conference to update citizens on the Respiratory syncytial virus and the rate of infection this year, compared to previous years.
Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Health said in a press conference Tuesday that the syncytial virus has existed since 1956.
He continued: In 2019, we had the same rate of infections as in the current period, and there was a decrease in infection with this virus during Corona due to the precautionary measures taken by citizens to confront Corona, but with the failure to adhere to the precautionary measures in the current period, infections with the syncytial virus increased.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Health stated that the syncytial virus is a cold that sometimes does not require cure, and may need treatment to relieve symptoms. He added that newborn children, elderly and those with chronic diseases who are infected will need interventions in hospitals.
While Amr Kandil, head of the preventive medicine sector at the Ministry of Health, confirmed that the syncytial virus is a respiratory virus that has existed for decades and is transmitted not only in Egypt but also in the whole world, explaining that this virus is active in the fall season and intensifies in the winter.
Qandil added, in a telephone interview to the “Al-Hayat Al-Youm” program with Lubna Assal on Al-Hayat channel, that the syncytial virus runs from November to mid-February, explaining that its symptoms are sore throat, runny nose, headache, high temperature, and sometimes coughing occurs, and the patient may develop more than one symptom, saying that these symptoms are similar to influenza and corona.
He pointed out that the symptoms of influenza are more than the syncytial virus, but the average symptoms last from 5 to 7 days, stressing that 80% of the infected are children, and this virus was present until 2019, but the period of 2020 and 2021 disappeared due to the precautionary measures that led to reducing the appearance of the virus.
In turn, Dr. Jihan Al-Assal, Professor of Chest Diseases at Ain Shams University, revealed the details of the Minister of Health's conference regarding the spread of the syncytial virus, and the schools' position on this matter, saying: "This virus affects everyone during the winter period, because it is the period of spread of viruses, and for any child infected with this virus is not to go to school, because it will infect his classmates."
The family should isolate any person or child who shows symptoms of infection, and the virus does not have a vaccination like influenza; It is met with precautionary measures.
Dr. Magdy Badran said, in a telephone interview on the “Al-Hayat Al-Youm” program, with the media, Lubna Asal, on Al-Hayat channel, that the panic in Egypt from the syncytial virus is unjustified as it is present every year, adding: “70% of children in the first year of life are infected.”
Badran also explained that resorting to antibiotics to try to treat this respiratory virus is unncessary, as antibiotics are used with bacteria only, saying: “95% of respiratory diseases in children in winter heal by themselves with strengthening immunity."