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Hi, my name is Vik Anand, and I am an MD, PhD. I received my degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles, and I'm a staff physician in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. I'm going to be talking to you about the importance of whom we should educate about RSV. And why it's vital that we increase awareness in education about the RSV virus in various populations.
So I think the most important people who need to be educated about the importance of RSV and how much disease burden it causes in both children and adults, are primary care physicians, the patients - the physicians who are seeing patients on a daily basis, and are the frontline of care for patients coming in with acute disease. By understanding the importance of RSV and its symptoms and disease that it can cause in adults and children, they are able to provide that care that is necessary.
By increasing the availability of RSV testing in primary care and urgent care settings, it goes a long way for a clinician to be able to diagnose and understand what degree of their patients are experiencing RSV. By improved testing, one of the most important things that will lead to is decreased antibiotic usage. One of the great pandemics that exists at the moment, and is considered to be a silent pandemic, is the rise of multidrug-resistant organisms due to the overuse of antibiotics. And combating that in any way we can, is vital to us as a species.
Improved recognition and importance of current and novel prophylaxis regimens for at-risk patients is vital for primary care physicians to understand. As we develop new and important treatments and preventions for RSV, it is vital that primary care physicians are the first people to be educated about these, that way they can deliver those care to their patients. As we know from before, a number of patients who are eligible for RSV prophylaxis is, at this moment, even though it's well established, are not receiving it; and therefore, improved understanding by primary care physicians is going to be vital to correcting that.
The next group of people who are important to educate about RSV are allied health professionals. As the field of medicine moves more towards incorporating allied health professionals such as nurse practitioner and physician assistants, they are going to take on a larger burden of primary care visits in urgent care visits. And therefore, it's an - it's vital that during their education, they learn about RSV, its importance, and for the same reasons as primary care physicians, by improving education about RSV disease, its severity and the broad range of people that get infected by it, it may lead to reduce the usage of antimicrobials; and therefore, reduced risk of developing multidrug-resistant organisms.
Another importance of highlighting guidelines to ensure at risk patients receive those appropriate prophylaxis to prevent serious illness and death. And of course, as new agents come online, it is vital that they understand the severity of RSV so they too can provide education and care.
So another group of people that's important to educate about RSV are parents of high-risk infants. As we know from before, a number of children who are at high risk are not receiving the prophylaxis that they need. Parents are really the primary stakeholders in their children's health; and therefore, it's vital that they receive education and awareness that their child needs this prophylaxis, because a lot of times in our medical establishment, it's difficult for care providers to always be aware and on top of needed treatments. And so, by educating parents, it helps to improve the delivery of those medications, and also understand the need for them.
Targeted education and emphasizing the importance of receiving and advocating for appropriate RSV prophylaxis will help prevent hospitalization and death in both children, and as we develop new therapies for RSV, in adults as well.
And finally, another really important group of people to educate about RSV are medical students, nursing students, and allied health professional students. It can be hard to change practices once established. There's a tremendous amount of data showing that once providers leave their education environment, a lot of what they do, and a lot of what they learned in that educational environment is the practice that they establish going forward. So by ingraining an understanding of RSV to future generations, it not only helps ingrain it in them, but they also are distributed throughout the medical establishment and are vital in terms of taking new knowledge that is acquired during their training and during medical education, and informing doctors who are already established that they come in contact with, with new guidelines and new medical procedures. So they're vital in distributing and disseminating knowledge of new therapeutics and adherence to current guidelines throughout the medical establishment, and throughout their careers. Establishing patterns of lifelong learning and importance, especially with regards to RSV and other respiratory viruses will be important in the future going forward.
So I want to thank you for listening to my lecture. I think it's important as we learned here, how vital RSV is to patient's health and how much it affects individuals, not only children, but also adults. I think we've also learned that one of the important things is that RSV is underrecognized and undertreated. And by recognizing RSV, not only can we develop reduced usage of antibiotics, which can lead to a number of problems in patients, but also learning about the importance of RSV, and learning that we need new therapeutics, and as they come online, the importance of distributing those therapeutics and preventative agents throughout the medical establishment is going to be vital to protecting the lives of those who are severely affected by RSV.
I want to thank you for listening to my lecture, and I hope this was helpful to understanding RSV as a disease and its importance to all our health.
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