Last year, we were surprised to find out we were expecting our 4th child; we welcomed our surprise!
Though it wasn’t a smooth start, I am starting to feel much better and making sure I am taking care of myself.
Last month, I was approached with the opportunity to write about Respiratory Syncytial Virus (or RSV) and honestly, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to.
You see, I felt like I didn’t know what Respiratory Syncytial Virus really was. I heard about it, but I wasn’t familiar with it.
After researching and finding out that I wasn’t the only person that didn’t truly know the definition of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (or RSV), I was stunned to find out that 75% of parents don’t know as well, and this made me change my mind.
As I educated myself, I felt more compelled to write this review and inform you, my readers, and friends about Respiratory Syncytial Virus.
Worldwide, 13 million babies are born prematurely; these are startling numbers, and to know that many parents are not aware of the risk of premature birth (the leading cause of neonatal death), scares me to no end.
I never recall asking my doctor about Respiratory Syncytial Virus because I wasn’t aware of it. Let’s begin with the basics and get informed together about this, shall we?
What is Respiratory Syncytial Virus?
RSV is a virus that infects the lungs and it’s contagious and may infect a person’s lungs and breathing passage.
By the age of 2 years, most children will catch the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (or RSV) and can spread rapidly among children and can continue to spread for 1 to 3 weeks.
RSV is present year-round, but it starts increasing during the fall, and peaks during the winter season. The truth is that an exact timing for RSV season varies by location, and this means we should always be cautious.
Within a week or two, most people recover from this disease. Those with lung or heart problems and premature infants who suffered from RSV can lead to serious lung infection and hospitalization.
How does this disease affect premature babies?
As much as parents of premature babies want them to be healthy, they may face a greater challenge protecting their babies.
Premature babies (babies who are birthed at, or before, 37 weeks of gestation) face complications; many may require special medical attention, which during the winter months, increases their chances of catching a contagious seasonal illness.
Premature babies have lungs that are smaller and less developed when compared to full-term babies. Remember that premature babies were interrupted from their final normal lung developing state, and RSV could lead to some serious health issues.
Some of the serious health issues are:
From my personal side of things, I decided to mention this topic to a good friend of mine; her child was born prematurely years ago. I was surprised that she mentioned how it was a concern for her premature son during that time and was very knowledgeable about RSV.
How to prevent RSV disease
Though there is no cure for RSV disease, there are preventable methods to help protect your baby. RSV disease spreads just as easily as the flu. What are some of the ways that RSV can put your infant at risk?
This is why it’s so important to follow these steps to protect your baby:
- Wash your hands thoroughly before touching your baby, and ask others to do the same
- Don’t let anyone smoke in your home, or near your baby
- Wash your baby’s toys, clothes, and bedding often
- Keep your baby away from:
— Crowds and young children
— People with colds
Always speak with your doctor about RSV and your concerns; head over to RSV Protection site for more information.