We saw our first confirmed case of RSV in a young baby this week.
Here is what you need to know about this virus:
RSV (respiratory syncytial virus)
- Respiratory virus that can severely affect infants and young children.
- The illness begins with low grade fever and a rather severely congested nose.
- By Day 5, the congestion moves into the chest causing wheezing and fast breathing, fatigue and sometimes low oxygen levels.
- By Day 10-14, there is improvement in the breathing but cough and intermittent wheezing can last for a full month.
- Treatments are supportive as there is no cure for RSV: plenty of fluids (breastfeed often for infants), rest, nasal saline with suctioning and sometimes breathing treatments.
- Prevention: RSV illness is contagious for the first 5-7 days of illness. Good handwashing is key to preventing this illness from spreading. Avoid all second hand smoke exposure.
- Warning signs to seek care: fever lasting longer than 3 days or reaching above 100.4 (< 3 months old) or 102 (> 3 months old), fever that resolved but has recurred a few days later, wheezing, breathing so fast that the baby cannot drink and urinate at least 3-4 times per day, lethargy (difficult to arouse), lips turning grey or blue (911 call).