RSV Quick Facts
- RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, and severe RSV disease causes up to 10 times as many infant deaths each year as the flu.
- RSV is most prevalent during the winter months. The CDC has defined the “RSV season” as beginning in November and lasting through March for most parts of North America.
- In addition to prematurity, common risk factors include low birth weight, certain lung or heart diseases, a family history of asthma and frequent contact with other children.
Prevention is Key
RSV is very contagious and can be spread easily through touching, sneezing and coughing. Since there’s no treatment for RSV, parents should take the following preventive steps to help protect their child:
- Wash hands, toys, bedding, and play areas frequently
- Ensure you, your family, and any visitors in your home wash their hands or use hand sanitizer
- Avoid large crowds and people who are or have been sick
- Never let anyone smoke near your baby
- Speak with your child’s doctor if he or she may be at high risk for RSV, as a preventive therapy may be available
Know the Symptoms
Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits one or more of the following:
- Severe coughing, wheezing or rapid gasping breaths
- Blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails
- High fever and extreme fatigue
Isabella was born almost a month premature. She was whisked right away to the NICU as soon as she was born because her lungs were not fully developed. I remember how teeny tiny she was. She had to go under an oxy hood for a few weeks to strengthen her lungs. Once we were home the Dr. had us watch out for the symptoms of RSV because she was at risk. Luckily she never got it and she made a full recovery. To look at her now you would never know she was a preemie. Reminds you how wonderful miracles are.
To learn more about RSV, visit www.rsvprotection.com and for more about the specialized health needs of preterm infants, visit www.preemievoices.com. Join the conversation online: #protectpreemies #rsv