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New antibody shot to protect infants from RSV to be made available this fall

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RSV season is around the corner and a first ever antibody shot to protect against the virus will be available to infants soon.

"We're expecting this winter is going to be a little hard on RSV season," Valley Baptist Chief of Pediatrics Dr. Asim Zamir said.

RSV is a viral infection that leads to mild symptoms for most people, but it can be deadly for the elderly and young children. 

This season, infants can be better protected with the first ever antibody shot and infants under 8 months are eligible to get it.

"The earlier you can administer, the better will be the results, and it's an antibody, so it will be effective immediately," Dr. Zamir said.

Dr. Zamir expects to get a shipment of the antibody shot at his pediatric clinic in late September. He expects demand to be high.

"My concern is there will be not enough quantity that we can apply because it's going to be needed all over the country," Dr. Zamir said.

Dr. Zamir says he is already treating patients for RSV.

RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms, but the virus can be serious for some.

"We saw cases the other day when they had respiratory distress. We end up admitting those kids into the hospital," Dr. Zamir said.

During the last RSV season, Dr. Zamir said 30 percent of patients at his pediatric clinic tested positive for the virus.

Dr. Zamir expects cases to spike when the first cold front comes in or right around Halloween, and he is preparing ahead of time for this potential spike.

He is educating schools, daycares and families about RSV symptoms and treatment to prevent the virus from spreading.

Dr. Zamir says people also play a role in prevention by practicing good handwashing and staying home when sick.

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