The fall and winter can bring the risk of respiratory illness. Though many
have knowledge on how to prevent spreading the influenza (flu) virus, preventing
RSV is still a topic many are misinformed about. You may have heard parents
with young kids asking you not to kiss their baby or have seen or heard
the term RSV mentioned throughout the winter months, but here’s
why preventing RSV, especially for infants, is so vital:
What is RSV?
RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) causes illness of the nose, throat, and
lungs and begins in late fall and can continue until early spring. Though
most RSV infections will pass on their own, for some, there can be further
complications and breathing issues, making prevention important, especially
for those with babies.
How is it Spread?
RSV is spread when someone infected with the virus coughs or sneezes. When
droplets from the cough or sneeze make contact with your eyes, nose, or
mouth; or if you touch a surface with the virus on it and then touch your
face before washing your hands, you can become infected. It may also spread
through direct contact, such as kissing a newborn or infant’s face.
When RSV is present, symptoms can appear in stages, and for infants, the
first sign might be irritability and breathing difficulties. The most
common symptoms include:
- Runny nose
- Decreased appetite
RSV can lead to bronchiolitis, pneumonia, and infections of the lung. According to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is the most common cause of these infections in children younger than
a year old.
Who’s at a Higher Risk?
Those at higher risk for complications, such as severe illness and hospitalization
from RSV include:
- Premature infants
- Those under six months of age
- Children younger than two with chronic lung or heart disease
- Children with weakened immune systems
- Those with certain neuromuscular disorders
- Adults 65 years and older
- Adults with weakened immune system or chronic heart and lung disease
If you have a young infant less than six months of age, avoid large crowds
or exposure to anyone who is sick. The best form of prevention is by disinfecting
your home often, especially doorknobs or surfaces that your child or baby
will touch. Wash your hands often, and be mindful of who is kissing your
baby on the face. If you or your child is feeling under the weather, stay home.
Though you can do your part in preventing the spread of germs, colds and
other illnesses still happen. If your child is feeling under the weather
and sneezing or fever or cold-like symptoms do occur, the
Walk-in Clinic in Gillette, Wyoming, is here to help.
We can provide you with the personal and quality care you need.
Save your spot in line or walk-in today!
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