How Bad Is RSV

It’s been a long day followed by the worst night. Your simple cold took a turn for the worst and the dreaded fever has set in. The kids are in bed already, but you’ve spent the day around them; coughing, sneezing, cleaning, and disinfecting as much as possible as to not share it with the family. We all know this will be at least a week’s worth of “sick leave” from your motherly activities. As the thermometer reaches 100.8, you realize RSV season has hit and it’s coming full force. Where’s the Tylenol? Should I make an appointment with my doctor tomorrow? How bad is this going to get?

What is RSV?

RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection) mimics the common cold. Rest, over the counter fever reducers, and plenty of fluids will get you up and moving in no time (think of Grandma’s chicken noodle soup.) The question in every mother’s mind. What if the kids get it? That’s a different ballgame. Will all kids get over it easy peasy? Not all the time. Preemie’s, infants under 6 months, and children with underlying health conditions are more susceptible to getting hospitalized. Most children have had RSV before the age of two. I’m sure a lot of us thought it was a simple cold and they were back to the little rockstars they are within a week. Is (s)he wheezing or just not eating or drinking enough? Is the fever still there and your mom heart is telling you something isn’t right? Call your doctor.

RSV doesn’t always show its ugly face right away. Your baby can’t tell you if (s)he is feeling ill, they may not even have a fever. Irritation, decreased appetite, and not being as active can give you a hint that your baby needs to be seen. Some RSV infections can turn into bronchitis and/or pneumonia which can require supplemental oxygen therapy and/or IV fluids to help their body fight off the virus.

How can I keep it away?

RSV likes to visit around fall time and stick around like a family member extending their stay during the winter months. Although it may show up no matter what you do, to keep you and your family safe, simple things can keep you free and clear this holiday season:

  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer.
  • Keep your hands off your face.
  • If someone is sick, stay away.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze (did you hear your mom’s voice when you read that?)
  • Clean and disinfect common touched surfaces.
  • Stay home when you don’t feel well.
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