Combating Respiratory Illnesses

With respiratory viruses like the flu, Covid and RSV – respiratory syncytial virus – on the rise in our area, Philip M. Tierno Jr., Ph.D., has some thoughts on what you should be doing to protect yourself. Tierno is a professor of microbiology and pathology at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine and NYU Langone Medical Center. He’s also a medical indoor air quality adviser to AtmosAir Solutions in Fairfield. 

As he wrote us: “There are numerous respiratory viruses spreading at this time in Fairfield, Westchester and all over the United States. The most important of these are a host of the usual assortment of so-called winter viruses, such as coronaviruses, including variant Covid strains and influenza. But also there are many cases of RSV. 

“For the RSV virus, there is no effective treatment. However, two manufacturers have developed a vaccine, available now, which can protect up to 86% of recipients. The RSV virus infections… not only hospitalize children but also elderly adults as 60-plus-year-olds are somewhat immunosuppressed to varied degrees. RSV can be fatal to both groups as it causes severe respiratory infection. 

“That is why it is important for children and elderly adults to get the three now-available vaccines against Covid, influenza and RSV.  

“(There are other respiratory infections caused by bacteria like mycoplasma, and also some other viruses like metapneumoviruses….but we are not seeing these in the outbreaks at this time.)” 

As always, check with your own physician before proceeding with any treatment or vaccination.