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Canadian Paediatric Society

CPS updates recommendations for use of palivizumab against RSV

Jul 22 2015

OTTAWA—The Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) has updated its recommendations on the use of palivizumab, an antibody used to prevent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection.

Almost all children get RSV at least once before they are two years old. In most children, the virus causes an upper respiratory tract infection (a cold), which doesn’t need either treatment or hospitalization.

RSV is also the leading cause of lower respiratory tract infections (bronchiolitis or pneumonia) in young children. Infection is most severe in young babies, especially those with congenital heart or chronic lung disease.

There is evidence that the risk of RSV hospitalization does not warrant the use of palivizumab in many infants for whom it was previously recommended. Significant advances in neonatology have led to healthier infants. The administration of palivizumab, which is given once monthly by injection, is no longer routinely recommended for babies born after 30 weeks unless they have chronic lung disease or congenital heart disease.

Good hand hygiene at home, especially around young children, is important to help reduce the spread of illness. People who are sick should wash their hands with soap and water before touching a child or preparing food. Other ways to lower the risk of respiratory illness in babies and young children include breastfeeding and avoiding exposure to cigarette smoke.

 

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About the Canadian Paediatric Society

The Canadian Paediatric Society is a national advocacy association that promotes the health needs of children and youth. Founded in 1922, the CPS represents more than 3,000 paediatricians, paediatric subspecialists and other child health professionals across Canada.

Last updated: Jul 22 2015