This is part of a sponsored collaboration with AstraZeneca and DiMe Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
RSV is something I had never heard about until I had a baby. RSV stands for Respiratory Syncytial Virus and affects almost all babies before the age of 2. The thing about RSV is that, although it affects nearly all babies, some babies have a tougher time with the disease than others.
Lennon is just a few months old now and we are now in RSV season where we live, so of course it’s something on my mind.
Keeping my little ones healthy is so important to me. It breaks my heart when one of them is sick.
In many babies, the virus leads to a mild infection with symptoms similiar to a cold or the flu, but in some babies, this can take a more serious turn.
Premature babies born before 35 weeks have the most risk for developing a severe RSV disease. These babies are are twice as likely to be admitted to the hospital for RSV-related symptoms.
Why does it affect premature babies more than others?
Because these babies were not able to fully develop in their mother’s womb and are born with underdeveloped lungs which make them more prone to respiratory infections.
Preterm infants did not receive the full amount of infection-fighting antibodies in utero, so they are not as well-equipped to fight off infections as full-term babies.
Here are some facts about RSV
RSV disease is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies during their first year of life in the United States, with approximately 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 400 infant deaths each year.
RSV disease can be severe, often resulting in ICU admission and the need for mechanical ventilation in the first months of life.
RSV disease is responsible for one of every 13 pediatrician visits and one of every 38 trips to the ER in children under the age of five.
Despite being so common, many parents aren’t aware of RSV; in fact, one-third of mothers have never heard of the virus.
Protecting your baby from RSV
RSV is very contagious and can be spread easily through touching, sneezing and coughing. Additionally, the virus can live on the skin and surfaces for hours. There is no treatment for RSV disease once it’s contracted, so prevention is critical. To help minimize the spread of RSV disease, all parents should:
- Wash their hands and ask others to do the same
- Keep toys, clothes, blanket and sheets clean
- Avoid crowds and other young children during RSV season
- Never let anyone smoke around your baby
- Steer clear of people who are sick or who have recently been sick
What are the symptoms of RSV?
- Coughing or wheezing that does not stop
- Fast or troubled breathing
- Spread-out nostrils and/or caved-in chest when trying to breathe
- Bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
- Fever (especially if it is over 100.4 F (rectal) in infants under 3 mo of age
The best thing to do is speak to your pediatrician and find out if your child is at risk.
For more information on RSV and ways to prevent it, visit RSVProtection.com. You can check and see if your baby is at risk and you can also find out when RSV season is where you live.