RSV has Arrived to Houston

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).
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