People are being warned that a "highly contagious" respiratory virus could be on the rise during the winter.
Health experts have previously highlighted that potential spiking cases of Covid and the flu may cause a 'twindemic'. But now, concerns have been raised about a third virus being thrown into the mix.
The common respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) could present another issue this winter, one expert has warned. RSV can cause pneumonia and the swelling of airways in babies, the elderly and vulnerable people, the Express reports.
Most adults will only show mild symptoms and recover within a couple of days, but it can pose a greater danger to certain groups of people.
It's the leading cause of infant hospitalisations in the UK and close to a third of under-fives with respiratory symptoms swabbed as part of UKHSA surveillance test positive.
Thanks to Covid and flu vaccinations, many people in the UK are protected against falling too unwell if they contract either of these viruses.
But Prof Francois Balloux, Director, UCL Genetics Institute said that RSV is a completely different story. He told Express.co.uk: "RSV is a leading cause of child hospitalisation and the virus kills over 100,000 children each year globally.
"That's more than 50 times as many children than those who died from Covid throughout the pandemic. It’s a far bigger threat to young children than Covid or seasonal flu."
He also warned that unless a vaccine is created and rolled out as soon as possible, "disruptive measures" must be carried out if the cases don't stop rising.
Recent figures from the UK Health Security Agency show that nearly a third of children under five currently have RSV, with 7.4 percent of the general population infected with the disease
A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of an organism. Viruses can infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms, including bacteria and archaea.
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