Respiratory Syncytial Virus(RSV) is a respiratory virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages. RSV is a highly contagious viral disease that can lead to serious health problems, especially for those born preterm and those with special health care needs. Children under the age of two may be at high risk for a severe infection which can cause pneumonia or bronchiolitis, which is inflammation of the small airways in the lungs. These conditions can lead to serious complications, re-hospitalization and in some cases, even death. What's more unsettling is that individuals can get RSV more than once, especially premature infants or those with lung and breathing issues, such as asthma.
As with many viruses, once the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment is limited to managing symptoms and any discomfort. A severe RSV infection may lead to a serious lung infection and possible hospitalization, while a less severe case may only need the use of a fever reducer or a misting nebulizer. Keeping yourself and your babies healthy is always easier said than done, but you can take preventative measures to lower your family's risk of contracting RSV. Below I have listed the risk factors, symptoms and preventative measures that can help lower your risk and your baby's risk of developing RSV. I have also featured a pre-recorded podcast from the CDC regarding RSV. It's only a few minutes, so please take a listen and be well!