RSV Virus

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RSV virus in babies

Is your baby  suffering from heavy coughing, rapid breathing or fever? If so, you should immediately take your child to see a paediatrician.

The reason is that Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a serious risk for young babies during the winter. Your child maybe at risk for bronchiolitis or pneumonia, and these are not uncommon among small children.

If your child was born premature, or has some kind of heart or lung disease, then the risk for your child getting these infections is elevated.

In most cases, pneumonia in small children is usually caused by bacteria or viruses. RSV is a very common virus, especially during fall and winter. RSV is a virus that doctors are very aware of, and very concerned about. It is especially serious for young infants because it causes difficulties in the child’s breathing.

As mentioned throughout this website, the RSV virus can lead to mild cold and flu-like symptoms in individuals, both young to old. However, for newborns, especially the high risk group infants, the consequences of RSV is usually much more serious.

If the child has asthma or other lung issues, getting pneumonia is particularly dangerous. If the symptoms are pneumonia or respiratory difficulties, infants often stop eating and also drink less fluids. I can be difficult to diagnose when there are no specific symptoms.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics indicates that pneumonia is the single largest cause of death in babies all over the world. About 1.4 million children under the age of 5 years die every year as a result of pneumonia. It affects children in all countries, although third world countries have higher percentage of these deaths.

The problem with RSV is that it can not be prevented. We can not get a vaccine, like with the flu.

All you can do is to protect yourself and your family by washing your hands frequently and avoid people who are sick.