Chances are you or someone you know are sick right now. We all know (and keep hearing through the media) about the seriousness of the flu this season. And, we certainly know how serious pneumonia can be. But, do you know about RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus)? I’ve learned a lot more about it in the last few weeks!
The son of a lady in one of my local mom’s groups spent almost a week in the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit) right before Christmas due to RSV. That baby is just two days older than mine and was around my son just a few days before he was hospitalized. Other than a little clear runny nose, he looked perfectly healthy. From just a little sick to intensive care in just a couple of days. Scary! I’ve also been following (& praying) the heartbreaking story of Jemma who is currently fighting for her life.
So, needless to say, when I took Baby Brother in for his 6 month well-check last week, I wanted to talk to the doctor about the cough that has struck our house. After going over our symptoms and hearing the wheeziness in Baby Brother, our pediatrician said, “this is most likely RSV”. GAH! Even as someone who knew about RSV, I was still surprised to hear the doctor say that! To try to help the wheezing, we tried a breathing treatment in the office.
It was sad and no one liked it. And, unfortunately, it didn’t work (apparently it’s not very successful a large percentage of the time). Thankfully though, Baby Brother seems to be fighting it ok. The doctor gave me a list of things to watch for (including nostril flaring while breathing, rapid breathing, grunting while breathing, not interested in eating). And that’s about all we can do at this point. We wait. We watch for any signs that he’s getting worse. And, we pray.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, RSV will usually run its course without major issue. At the same time however, RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalizations for bronchiolitis (source: AAP). Definitely something to take seriously! So, if you have a baby during cold & flu season, I definitely recommend you talk to your pediatrician about RSV, learn what to watch for, and what to do if you suspect a problem. Because what looks like just a regular little cold could turn in to something worse very quickly!
Do you have any experience with RSV?