Respiratory syncytial virus season: Protect your kids

 RSV spreads easily from person to person via sneezing, coughing, or from contact with a person or object that carries the virus. The chance of spreading the virus within a family is very high. Many times school-aged children introduce the virus into the family. Despite strict infection control procedures, hospital nursery units, day-care centers and other similar institutions are also at high-risk for RSV outbreaks.

The symptoms of RSV may be like a cold at first and can include fever, runny nose, and other cold-like symptoms. An infected baby might get sicker very quickly. Symptoms may include: coughing, difficulty breathing, wheezing (a whistling sound), rapid breathing, and a blue color around the lips. Since RSV complications can strike rapidly, parents of at-risk children need to know to act fast and call their pediatrician or healthcare provider immediately if signs of RSV complications appear.

Simple to help reduce baby’s risk of exposure to the RSV virus:

  • Have family members and caregivers wash their hands with warm water and soap before touching the baby.
  • Limit the baby's exposure to people with cold symptoms or fevers.
  • Keep the baby away from crowded places
  • Do not smoke around the baby
  • Talk to your child's pediatrician about preventive measures and medication

For more information about RSV, parents can call 1-877-848-8512 or visit the RSV Web site.

Created: November 15, 2000

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