I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for MedImmune. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV for short, is a contagious viral disease that may infect a person’s lungs and breathing passages. It is active throughout the year, but tends to spike in fall & winter. However, this can vary depending on your location. It is the most dangerous to small children, especially premature babies. Studies have shown that an alarming number of parents have no idea what RSV is or that it’s a danger to their premature children. Since preemies are born with undeveloped lungs and immature immune systems, they have a heightened risk for developing severe RSV, with often requires hospitalization. World Premature Day is on November 17th, and I am helping spread the word about RSV, including symptoms and how to prevent it.
Important Facts About RSV
RSV typically occurs from November through March, and is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies in their first year. In the US alone, it’s responsible for around 125,00 hospitalization and 400 infant deaths each year. It’s also responsible for 1 out of 13 pediatrician visits & 1 in 38 ER visits for children under five. Yet, despite these numbers, one-third of mothers have never heard of it. I didn’t until I was asked to write an article about it earlier this year., and we had a scare with my daughter when she was still very little. At the time, I had no idea that this was what her doctor thought might have been wrong. I do now & I’m disgusted with her doctor for not telling us or even explaining it to us.
The symptoms are very easy to distinguish from other illnesses, especially in preemies. They include persistent coughing or wheezing, rapid, difficult or gasping breaths, and a bluish color around the mouth or fingernails. These symptoms are also accompanied by a fever. If your baby has any of these symptoms, you need to call your pediatrician immediately.
RSV is very contagious & can be easily spread by touching, sneezing and coughing, plus it can survive for hours on skin and surfaces. There is no treatment once it has been contracted, so it is crucial that you take prevention steps. Make sure that you keep your hands washed, and don’t feel bad about requiring others to do the same. Keep all toys, blankets, clothes and sheets clean. Keep your child out of crowds and other young children during RSV season. Never let anyone smoke around your baby & stay away from people who are sick or have been sick recently.
I still can’t believe that parents are not informed about this like they c=should be. It makes it all the more important that the word gets out so that parents know. You can get more information at www.RSVprotection.com, and please share this information with other parents you know. It may safe the life of their child.