I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for MedImmune. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
Being 37 weeks pregnant and due the first week of December with our third winter baby means that I’ve given RSV a lot of thought over the years. Thankfully, we’ve never had to deal with Respiratory Syncytial Virus first hand, but that doesn’t mean I don’t worry. I do. When Bella was born, a well-meaning family member came to visit us in the hospital with her sick infant. Her child was diagnosed with RSV only a day or so later. Justin and I spent a lot of time worrying about Bella’s exposure and trying not to be angry at the situation. It was a frightening experience and Bella was just fine. That doesn’t stop the “What if?” that ran through my head though.
Since RSV occurs in epidemics each year, typically from November through March, it’s important to take precautions to protect against it and practice simple prevention. RSV is very contagious and can be spread easily through touching, sneezing and coughing. The virus can live on the skin and surfaces for hours. There is no treatment for RSV disease once it’s contracted, so prevention is critical.
Protecting against RSV is especially important with premature infants because preemies are at heightened risk for developing severe RSV disease due to being born with underdeveloped lungs and an immature immune system. World Prematurity Day is November 17 so now is the perfect time to raise awareness. Did you know that RSV disease is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies during their first year of life in the United States, with approximately 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 400 infant deaths each year?
Ways to Protect Baby from RSV
To help minimize the spread of RSV disease, all parents should:
- Wash their hands and ask others to do the same
- Keep toys, clothes, blanket and sheets clean
- Avoid crowds and other young children during RSV season
- Never let anyone smoke around your baby
- Steer clear of people who are sick or who have recently been sick
For more information, please visit RSVProtection.com and check out the infographic below.