RSV is a common virus that will affect nearly 100% of children by the time they are two years old. RSV typically causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms in babies and small children. However, premature babies are highly at risk for developing a serious infection because their immune systems are not fully developed.
Babies and small children who attend daycare and school are at a higher risk for RSV because of increased exposure to germs and viruses. Children in those types of settings eat, play and nap in close quarters. Viruses are more easily spread in this type of environment. School-aged siblings can bring germs home and infect the baby.
It is important for parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of RSV, especially parents with a pre-term infant in the home. Parents who think their baby is at high risk of serious RSV infection should talk to their doctor.
RSV Symptoms That Require Immediate Medical Attention:
- Coughing or wheezing that does not stop
- Fast or 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)
There is no treatment for RSV. If your child has mild symptoms of RSV, there is likely no cause for alarm. Remember that your child can spread the illness to other children who may be at high risk for developing a more serious RSV infection and help prevent the spread of germs by keeping your child at home.
Parents can help prevent the spread of RSV by taking precautions such as:
- Washing hands, and asking others to do the same
- Keeping toys, blankets, clothes and bedding clean
- Avoid crowds during RSV season (November to March)
More RSV Facts can be seen in the infographic below. Learn even more when you visit RSVProtection.com and follow #RSVProtection on Twitter.