Tuesday, November 20, 2012

RSV Season is in Full Swing-Educate Yourself

A few years ago we fostered a preemie baby. She was the smallest, most beautiful baby girl. She was born just 2 pounds and change.. and when she was released from the hospital, and into our home, she was only a little over four pounds. Before we took her home, we had to watch a video on RSV, signs, symptoms, and how we could help protect her.

Although most babies that contract RSV are born premature, full term babies get RSV, too. Be wary of crowds, especially if your child has a weakened immune system. Try to keep him or her from people who smoke or are sick. Some kids catch this virus from exposure in daycare. The virus spreads through tiny droplets that go into the air when a sick person blows their nose, coughs, or sneezes.

You can catch RSV if:

  • A person with RSV sneezes, coughs, or blows their nose near you
  • You touch, kiss, or shake hands with someone who is infected by the virus
  • You touch your nose, eyes, or mouth after you have touched something contamined by the virus, such as a toy or doorknob.
RSV often spreads very rapidly in crowded households and day care centers. The virus can live for a half an hour or more on hands. The virus can also live for up to 5 hours on counter tops and for several hours on used tissues.

With each year's first chill in the air, parents rush to stock up on cold medicine, tissues, and vitamin supplements. While most Moms are very familiar with colds and the flu, few of them are aware of another common and potentially life-threatening seasonal virus, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), which is the leading cause of infant hospitalization in the U.S. According to the CDC, "RSV season" typically runs from November to March in most of the U.S., but can vary based on where you live.

While nearly every child before the age of two contracts RSV, it often comes and goes with symptoms similar to the common cold and many parents don't know the difference. In certain babies, however, it can lead to a serious respiratory infection. Premature infants are especially at risk of serious complications, or even death, from RSV disease because they have underdeveloped lungs and immature immune systems.

One in eight babies is born premature in the U.S.-over half a million every year. Parents of these fragile infants need to be educated on the challenges of raising a preemie, including the risk of RSV disease. November 17 was World Prematurity Day, an important day designed to help raise public awareness about the problem of global prematurity, which affects more than 13 million babies worldwide.

Know and understand, that this virus looks and sounds like any other virus. If you think your child might be having problems breathing, has a cough that is difficult to stop, wheezing, or fever, contact your pediatrician. To learn more about RSV, visit https://www.rsvprotection.com.

"I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation."



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