RSV is fairly common and contracted by nearly all children by the age of 2. It is most likely to be caught between November and March in most of North America. The symptoms in full term babies are usually minor and similar to a cold; however, they can become a severe RSV disease for preemies. Their lungs are simply underdeveloped and they don’t have the antibodies needed to fight off infection. RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, and severe RSV disease causes up to 10 times as many infant deaths as the flu. RSV is very contagious and there is no treatment.
Parents should take preventative measures to keep their children healthy. They should wash their hands, baby's toys, visitors hands, and play areas frequently. Even though it can be hard, it is best to avoid large crowds or anyone who has been sick. Babies should be taken to their doctor if they display any of the symptoms which include severe coughing or wheezing, blue color in the lips or mouth, or high fever and fatigue. My brother was actually full term, but was hospitalized as a baby with severe RSV.
The women in my family seem to have a difficult time getting and staying pregnant, so I was concerned I would have the same issues. Thankfully, I was able to become pregnant easily and carry all three of my babies to term. My mom was not so lucky with me. I was born 6 weeks premature and stopped breathing shortly after birth. My dad was holding me and I turned blue. I ended up being at the hospital for a month with many seizures on top of not being able to keep breathing and my heart stopping. They thought I would be an epileptic, but thankfully the seizures eventually stopped. I was on meds for the first 9 months of my life for them and they kept me awake and cranky - meaning I cried all. the. time. for my parents. I was sick a good bit as a small child and had things such as scarlet fever and fifth disease in addition to the normal illnesses such as colds, flu, and strep throat. My mom recently told me that they were worried the seizures might come back with different stress such as pregnancy, but I carried three babies with no issues. Thankfully I now have no issues other than the heart problems I've had my whole life.
Learn more about RSV and how to protect your babies.
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.