Posts Tagged ‘RSV’

October is RSV Awareness Month

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages. Almost all babies get it before the age of 2. Your baby can get RSV at any time of year, but it’s most common from November to April.

Symptoms of RSV

For most healthy children, the symptoms of RSV are similar to those of a cold and can last about two weeks. They can include:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Irritability
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sluggish or being inactive
  • Trouble breathing
  • Wheezing

Some babies have a high risk of getting severe RSV. This includes babies who were born premature, have lung problems, heart problems or other chronic illnesses. Severe RSV may lead to other serious infections, like:

  • Bronchiolitis, an infection that causes swelling in the smallest air passages in the lungs
  • Pneumonia, an infection in one or both lungs

RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children younger than 1 year of age.

If you notice any of these symptoms, call your baby’s health care provider right away:

  • Cough that gets worse or she coughs up yellow, green or gray mucus
  • High fever. High fever is a temperature greater than 100.4 F in babies younger than 2 months, 101 F in babies aged 3 to 6 months or 103 F in babies older than 6 months.
  • Looks dehydrated
  • Loss of appetite
  • Thick nasal discharge
  • Trouble breathing or mouth and fingernails look blue

Prevent the spread of RSV

You can help protect your baby from RSV by:

  • Keeping her away from people who are sneezing or coughing
  • Making sure everyone who touches the baby has clean hands
  • Keeping your baby away from crowds of people
  • Not allowing anyone to smoke near your baby

Treatment for RSV

There is no specific treatment for RSV. If your baby has RSV, you can help to relieve the symptoms by making sure she drinks lots of fluids, using a rubber suction bulb to help clear mucus from her nose, and using a cool-mist humidifier. If your baby has a fever, talk to her health provider about using acetaminophen.

Babies who are at high risk from severe RSV may benefit from medication that helps prevent RSV from becoming severe. This medication is called palivizumab. It is given in monthly injections during the fall and winter months. However, this medication does not prevent infection with RSV and it does not help cure or treat children who already have severe RSV. If your baby is a high risk for severe RSV, talk to her provider about whether palivizumab may be an option.

Have any questions? Email or text us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

RSV refresher

Friday, September 28th, 2012

baby_sickbabycare3It is the beginning of fall and soon winter will follow. And that means cold season is right around the corner. But when you have a premature baby sometimes those sniffles can mean more than just the common cold. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common virus that usually causes cold-like symptoms in adults and older children. In fact, almost all babies get it before the age of 2. But it can have serious consequences for high-risk infants.

Certain babies are at risk for severe RSV and complications from the infection, including bronchitis and pneumonia. Premature infants, babies who were born at low birthweight and babies with heart or lung disease are all at increased risk. It is especially important for parents of these infants to be aware of the signs and symptoms of RSV. These include:
• Persistent coughing or wheezing (Do not give over-the-counter cough and cold products to infants and children younger than 4 years of age. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, these medications can have serious and life-threatening side effects.)
• Rapid, difficult or gasping breaths
• Blue color of the lips, around the mouth or under the fingernails
• A fever of more than 100.4° F

RSV spreads easily through touching, kissing, sneezing, and coughing. It can live for hours on hard surfaces, such as countertops, and even in used tissues. There are some simple steps parents and caregivers can take to minimize their baby’s exposure to RSV. The main thing to do is wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water. Make sure everyone who touches your baby has clean hands. Keep your baby away from crowds of people. Do not allow anyone to smoke around your baby. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and don’t share cups, spoons and forks with others.

Babies who are at highest risk from RSV (including babies born at or before 32 weeks of pregnancy) may benefit from medication that helps prevent the infection. This medication is called palivizumab (Synagis). It is given in monthly injections during the fall and winter months. Make sure you discuss this with your baby’s health care provider.
For more information, you can visit RSV Protection.

Note: The March of Dimes does not endorse specific brands or products.

It’s RSV season

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

This is just a reminder that it’s RSV season and you’ll want to keep your eyes open for symptoms. Most kids get respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) by the age of two (it’s incredibly contagious) and while it’s usually not too serious for a healthy baby, it can be quite threatening to a premature infant and scary for a parent.

RSV usually causes mild cold-like symptoms (coughing, sneezing, runny nose, fever) that go away on their own in about 10 days to two weeks. Most babies with RSV do not become seriously ill, but a few become very sick. RSV is the leading cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under the age of one. They may need to be treated in the hospital with oxygen. In some cases, the baby will need bronchodilators (drugs that help open up breathing tubes) and antiviral drugs. Click on this link to read more about symptoms and when to call your baby’s doctor.

If your baby was born prematurely (too early), or has lung or heart disease, talk to your health care provider about ways to help prevent RSV. Babies who are at highest risk from RSV (including babies born at or before 32 weeks of pregnancy) may benefit from medication that helps prevent the infection. This medication is called palivizumab (Synagis). It is given in monthly injections during the fall and winter months.

You can help protect your baby from RSV by:
• Keeping him away from people who are sneezing or coughing
• Making sure everyone who touches the baby has clean hands
• Keeping your baby away from crowds of people
• Not allowing anyone to smoke near your baby
For more information, visit RSV Protection.

Note: The March of Dimes does not endorse specific brands or products.

Returning to RSV season

Friday, October 8th, 2010

We’re entering into RSV season again.  Most kids get respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) by the age of two (it’s incredibly contagious) and while it’s usually not too serious for a healthy baby, it can be quite threatening to a premature infant and scary for a parent.

In many kids, RSV causes mild cold-like symptoms (coughing, sneezing, runny nose, fever) that go away on their own in about 10 days to two weeks. But it’s also the leading cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in tikes under a year old.  You can read more about RSV and prevention in our previous post.

Because it’s so contagious, many parents of premature babies keep their children out of public circulation throughout the season. That means out of the grocery store, day care, church, shopping malls… That can be really tough on parents.  For those of you with premature babies or with children with compromised (weakened) immune systems due to a medical condition, how do you deal with the isolation?  What tips do you have for new parents who are facing their first RSV season?

RSV – Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV),  usually causes mild cold-like symptoms (coughing, sneezing, runny nose, fever) that go away on their own in about 10 days to two weeks.  It’s very contagious and most children get it by the age of two.  RSV can develop into a serious condition, however, and is the leading cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under the age of one and in many older adults.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) states that “Premature infants, children less than 2 years of age with congenital heart or chronic lung disease, and children with compromised (weakened) immune systems due to a medical condition or medical treatment are at highest risk for severe disease. Adults with compromised immune systems and those 65 and older are also at increased risk of severe disease.”

We’re in the season for RSV infection (in the U.S. usually October to April) so it’s wise to take precautions to help prevent it.  The main thing to do is wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water.  Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, don’t share cups or spoons and forks with others, and people with cold symptoms should not kiss others.

The CDC has good information about RSV symptoms and prevention as does the RSV Protection website.  Take some time to review it, especially if you have anyone in your family who falls into the higher risk category.