WHAT IS RSV?
RSV is a highly contagious virus that can lead to respiratory illness in babies, including lung infections such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia.*
RSV infections can go from mild symptoms to hospitalization in less than a week.
Mild symptoms may include a runny nose, sneezing, and coughing, while severe symptoms can include wheezing and difficulty breathing.
That means the best time to learn about RSV is before your baby does.
*Bronchiolitis (bron-key-oh-lie-tis) is a viral infection in the smallest airways (bronchioles) in your lungs. When the bronchioles swell and become inflamed, mucus may build up, leading to congestion and difficulty breathing.
Pneumonia (noo-mohn-yuh) is a lung infection that can cause mild to severe coughing, fever, and trouble breathing.
RSV FAST FACTS
RSV is most common during the winter virus season (November – March) but can vary by local areas.
RSV spreads when droplets from a cough, sneeze, or infected surface get inside the eyes, nose, or mouth.
2 out of 3 babies will get RSV by age 1.
RSV can go from cold-like symptoms to hospitalization in less than a week.
Though hospitalization happens in only 1%-2% of RSV cases, it’s not predictable which baby will be hospitalized.
Babies are 16x more likely to be hospitalized with RSV than with the flu.
GET THE RSV FAST FACTS INFOGRAPHIC
RSV SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
RSV can often mimic a cold or the flu. But as the infection becomes more severe so do the symptoms. Keep a close eye on your baby if you notice any of the following:
In babies under 6 months, the only RSV symptoms they may show are irritability, decreased activity, decreased appetite, and difficulty breathing.
WHEN TO CONTACT A DOCTOR
If you notice any of the following in your baby, contact their doctor right away:
Short, shallow, and abnormally fast breathing:
Look for chest wall retractions. Think of chest wall retractions as a “caving in” of the chest in between and under the ribs.
Your baby has a wheezing cough.
When your baby’s nostrils spread out with every breath.
Your baby is unusually tired or has a blue tint to their lips or fingernails.
Your baby has poor feeding.
Your baby has a fever:
100.4° F / 38°C or higher for a baby younger than 3 months.
102.2°F / 39°C or higher for a baby older than 3 months.
It takes a village…
Explore the stories of other parents who have experienced RSV firsthand so you can learn to recognize the warning signs of RSV in your baby.
“RSV is a horrible virus that causes your baby to not be able to breathe. You’re watching them 24 hours a day.”
“When she was exposed, we got a notification from daycare and I wasn’t overly concerned. She had typical symptoms of RSV. But around four days in, she was different… ultimately Emmaline ended up spending three days in the hospital.”
“I remember asking, ‘What is RSV?’ I felt like a veteran mom. This is my third child, yet I had never ever heard of RSV before.”
HELP OTHER PARENTS BY SHARING YOUR RSV STORY
HELP PROTECT YOUR BABY
RSV spreads incredibly easily.
Talk with your family and friends about practicing the following healthy habits to help protect your baby from RSV:
Wash your hands often.
Clean and disinfect surfaces, including your baby’s toys.
Avoid close contact with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms.
If you have cold or flu-like symptoms, avoid kissing or touching
Cover your face when coughing or sneezing.
Avoid sharing utensils if you have cold or flu-like symptoms.