It’s hard to prepare for another virus season, while the world is trying to fight against not one, but two other viruses, influenza and the coronavirus. Thankfully, there is a vaccine for influenza and one will be coming for the coronavirus, but unfortunately, there isn’t a vaccine to combat Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV. Typically, RSV season begins in November and extends into April. Though, because it is passed from person to person, it is likely to pop-up anytime throughout the year.
What is RSV?
RSV is a contagious, respiratory, viral disease that affects people of all ages by viral droplets from an infected person or surface. It is more severe in infants under the age of two and adults 65 and older since their immune systems are not as strong as others. For older children and adults under 65, the virus is not as serious and will resolve on its own within a couple of weeks.
The reason why infants are more prone to RSV is because they have underdeveloped airways. According to the CDC, RSV infection is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in US children under 2-years-old. If the disease progresses and develops into the chronic stage, your child may experience chronic coughing and wheezing.
What are the Primary Symptoms of RSV?
The primary symptoms of RSV are similar to those of a cold at the acute phase of the disease. Your baby may experience severe symptoms like difficulty breathing and chronic fever at advanced stages of the disease (usually from the 5th day). The primary symptoms to be on the lookout for include:
- Runny nose
- Decrease in appetite
There are some possible symptoms that could come up such as difficulty breathing, dehydration, poor feeding, and wheezing. If your child is showing any signs of the aforementioned symptoms, it’s best to schedule an appointment with our pediatricians so we can diagnose and get a treatment plan started as soon as possible.
Are Some Babies Vulnerable to the Disease?
There are some predisposing factors that can make your baby more susceptible to the infection. The risk factors are often associated with the immunity and general health of your child. Some of the greatest risk factors include:
- Premature infants.
- Infants under 6-months-old.
- Children under 2-years-old with chronic lung or chronic heart disease.
- Children with neuromuscular disorders.
How to Protect your Babies from RSV?
The optimal way to prevent the spread of RSV is by adopting stringent hygiene measures and limiting the number of people who directly contact your baby. Adopting the following measures will position your baby in an RSV-free state:
- Don’t kiss your baby if you are exhibiting any cold symptoms.
- Keep baby’s environment smoke-free at all costs.
- Avoid any close contact with someone with cold symptoms.
- Disinfect all of the baby’s equipment, including toys.
- Wash your hands before handling the baby.
How should you Prepare for the RSV Season?
Since RSV season is pretty consistent, it is easy to prepare before it hits. Every parent should be ready to adopt certain measures in an attempt to protect young babies from the disease. Adopting hygiene measures is the best way to prepare for the season. For babies with a higher susceptibility to the disease, you should contact your doctor for preventive medications.
Seek Assistance from Bard & Didriksen Pediatrics
RSV can progress to severe respiratory disease, which is life-threatening to your baby. If you note dehydration, temperatures above 100.4 degrees, blue color on the tongue, and difficulty breathing, contact us immediately. We are specialists in all respiratory conditions affecting children and will offer the required care necessary to help in the healing and recovery process for your baby.