Respiratory Syncytial Virus in Infants and Children with Prader-Willi syndrome

Respiratory illness in persons with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) can be extraordinarily complicated and the course of the illness is often more serious than it is for others. Pronounced hypotonia in PWS is a significant risk factor for respiratory illness with severe complications.

In a recently released study by Dr.’s Miller and Thornton, parents of children with PWS were surveyed regarding their experience with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), a common respiratory illness in early childhood. Of the 220 surveys completed, over a quarter of the children had been infected with RSV in early childhood, and nearly half of those who contracted the virus required hospitalization and often intensive medical support.

The study demonstrates the incidence of RSV and risk the virus presents to the child with PWS. Additionally, it identified that immunization with the vaccine Synergist significantly reduced the incidence of RSV in the children in the study. It was also reported by caregivers in the study that there were barriers to vaccine access, including provider resistance to prescribing it and lack of coverage by insurance. The results of this research provides the clinical evidence needed for providers and families to overcome the barriers that prevent the immunization of children with PWS for RSV.

Contributed by Mary Burr


Study reference info:

JL MillerE Thornton

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not be appropriate for every family.

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