This year’s winter illness season seems especially bad. Just about everyone I know has come down with something (including everyone in our own house). In the news, there is a lot of talk of the flu and norovirus (the nasty stomach bug). But, there is another virus you should be aware of this time of year…RSV. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common, seasonal virus that affects two-thirds of all infants by age one and almost 100% of babies by age two, because it’s highly contagious. RSV typically causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms, but in some babies (premature infants are most at risk) it results in a serious respiratory infection. In fact, RSV infection is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, responsible for more than 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 500 infant deaths each year.Unfortunately, we just dealt with RSV at our house. Baby Brother had it (and his pediatrician said it is quite possible that Mr. Mom Endeavors & I also had the bug as well. People of any age can contract the virus. It just tends to be extra serious in babies). We were all wheezing and coughing–for weeks! Baby Brother and I still have a cough! But, thankfully, it didn’t result in an serious infection for him. Though we tried a breathing treatment in the Dr.’s office, it didn’t work. So, we just had to monitor him for some very specific symptoms that indicate a serious RSV infection & would require immediate attention, including:
- Coughing or wheezing that does not stop
- Fast or labored/troubled breathing
- Spread-out nostrils and/or a caved-in chest when trying to breathe
- Bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
- Fever (especially if it is over 100.4°F in infants under 3 months of age)
Thankfully, none of those symptoms ever occurred. And, even though the cough persists, we’ve been back to the doctor and Baby Brother’s lungs sound MUCH better. No more signs of RSV! Here are a few facts about RSV that all parents, caregivers and loved ones should know:
- Almost every baby will contract RSV by age 2, but only 1/3 of moms say they’ve heard of the virus (so good thing you’re reading this post! 😉 )
- RSV occurs in epidemics each fall through spring. The CDC has defined “RSV season” as November through March for most parts of North America.
- Certain babies are at an increased risk of developing serious RSV infection, so it’s important to speak with a pediatrician to determine if a baby may be at high risk for RSV, and discuss preventive measures.
- If you’re child is exhibiting cold-like symptoms, RSV could be the culprit. Know the symptoms of serious RSV infection which include: persistent coughing or wheezing; rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths; blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails; high fever; extreme fatigue; and difficulty feeding. Parents should contact a medical professional immediately upon signs of these symptoms.
- There is no treatment for RSV, so it’s important for parents to take preventive steps to help protect their child (wash hands, toys, bedding frequently; avoid crowds and cigarette smoke).
For more information on RSV, the symptoms, or prevention, be sure to visit RSVProtection.com and follow #RSVProtection on Twitter.
Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation. However, as always all experiences are entirely my own & I know first hand how important this topic is!
Both Grandsons have had RSV. #1 Grandson TWICE. The 1st time he was only a few weeks old. Scary. They both have breathing issues and almost any common cold will trigger an asthma attack and the need to get out the nebulizer. At 5 the oldest has been less sick this winter. 🙁 Poor “T” the 2 yr old has had so many cold and ear infecttions. Got his tubes in last week. Sure hope they help. He is sucha trooper. Even hold th mask himself. Myself. I have had a cough/cold/virus sine the week before Christmas. I think I am nearly over it. Then last weeks sub-zero weather started me coughing and runny nose again! Today I ffeel pretty good, MAybe I am about done. Hope all are well at your household very soon. Big hugs….
We have dealt with RSV. My youngest caught it at 2 weeks. For a week we went to the doctor every day for oxygen readings. The poor thing couldn’t keep anything done. As soon as she would eat, a coughing fit would begin and everything would come back up. Finally her dr decided ahe needed to be in the hospital. Worst experience ever. The hospital in our town was terrible. They had the anethesiologist in there trying to get an iv in to transport her to the childrens hospital 2 hours away. They ended up trying 5 times and shaving her hair before they got it. Hands down the worst experience I have ever had. 2 years later, she still gets a cough when she gets even the slightest cold and she has an extremely sensitive gag reflux. That stuff is nasty on babies. I had never hears about it until she had it. I grew up in the south where I guess it isn’t as common. Everyone where we lived knew exactly what it was.