13 RSV Signs In Infants All Caregivers Ought to Be Conscious Of By Now


Thanks to the pandemic, you are probably a lot more knowledgeable about infectious diseases than you ever imagined. We wouldn’t be surprised if you could recite the symptoms of COVID-19 in your sleep and learn all about the importance of getting your annual flu shot (especially this year). But there’s another virus that’s making headlines right now that a lot of people aren’t as familiar with. It’s called respiratory syncytial virus, better known as RSV, and cases are currently skyrocketing in the United States, especially in babies and young children.

According to monitoring data from the Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention (CDC), RSV cases have risen sharply since October. Public health experts warn of potential impact on children as virus overwhelms many hospitals and quickly filling pediatric intensive care beds. If you have children, and a baby in particular, here’s what you need to know about RSV symptoms in babies, and when to see a doctor for a sick child.

First, a bit of information on RSV.

RSV is a common respiratory virus that typically causes cold-like symptoms, according to the CDC. In fact, doctors usually can’t tell from your symptoms alone if you have RSV or another virus that causes the common cold. Danelle Fisher, MDthe chair of pediatrics at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., says SELF.

Most people recover very well (in about a week or two) when infected with RSV. However, symptoms can potentially become severe for infants and other young children, as well as older adults and those with severely weakened immune systems. In fact, RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis, inflammation of the small airways in the lungs, and pneumonia, an infection of the lungs, in children under one year old in the United States, according to the CDC.

« Because children under two have smaller lower airways, inflammation, which leads to mucus production, can clog these small lower airways, leading to labored breathing and sometimes lower oxygen levels. « , Rosemary Olivero, MD, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, tells SELF. However, children two years and older have wider lower airways and “tend to have less difficulty breathing with RSV infections,” even if their lower airways become inflamed, Dr. Olivero says.

Back to the top

How is RSV transmitted to babies?

It is important to solve this problem: almost everything children get RSV at least once before the age of two, depending on the American Academy of Pediatrics (PAA). Infants usually catch RSV from their parents, other caregivers, or close family members, although they can also catch it when they are in public. John C. Brancato, MDdivision chief of emergency medicine at Connecticut Children’s, says SELF.

The virus spreads in several ways, according to the CDC:

  • When an infected person coughs or sneezes, which can circulate virus-laden droplets that then come into contact with a child’s eyes, nose or mouth
  • When a person touches a virus-infected surface (such as a doorknob or a toy) and then touches a child’s face before washing their hands
  • When a child has direct contact with the virus, such as receiving a hug or kiss from someone infected with RSV

Like it? Share with your friends!