5 facts about RSV every parent needs to know

5 facts about RSV every parent needs to know

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a very common illness, especially for babies under the age of two. RSV attacks the lining of the airways and lungs. Prepare yourself with these five important facts about RSV.

  1. Early signs of RSV are the same as the common cold. Runny nose, sneezing and mild cough are early signs of an RSV infection.  However, RSV often turns into a deeper cough and causes difficulty breathing by the second or third day of a runny nose.
  2. Call your pediatrician if your baby is under 6 months. RSV can get serious quickly. Call your pediatrician if your baby is under 6-months old and showing cold symptoms. Be sure to call your pediatrician if your child seems very sick or is having trouble breathing, sleeping, eating or drinking.
  3. Infants under the age of 1 are the most severely infected. It is the most common cause of pneumonia in infants and the most common cause of hospitalization of infants. In fact, about 3 percent of all babies younger than 1 year of age are hospitalized for RSV infection.
  4. The virus spreads through physical contact of people with colds. RSV doesn’t fly through the air, but it can be sneezed onto your infant or physically given to your baby by direct physical contact. The best way to protect your child from this infection is to encourage everyone to wash their hands before touching your baby.
  5. Basic flu prevention can also help prevent RSV. Wash your hands regularly, especially before contact with babies. Wash your child’s toys regularly.  Sneeze into a tissue and away from infants. Keep people with colds, including older siblings, away from your baby.

Know the facts about RSV and take steps to help prevent it. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s health, do not hesitate to reach out to your pediatrician.

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