Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)


During the fall and winter months, a virus by the name of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) becomes prevalent in all communities. It is a virus, which most people have contracted sometime during their lives and in adults or older children; symptoms may not be different from those seen in a cold. However, when a newborn infant or very young child contracts the virus it can be very serious.

RSV infection symptoms can be as mild as simple stuffiness of and drainage from the nose, a cough, or ear infection. But more severe infections, such as pneumonia, bronchiolitis, or bronchitis, may occur. These infections can be severe enough to require hospitalization for specialized treatment.

We are asking you, as parents, to be aware of the prevalence of RSV during this time, the potential seriousness of the infection, and the need to take some precautions to protect your infant.

  • Your newborn and young infant should not be exposed to anyone exhibiting cold symptoms. Everyone in your immediate family (parents, brothers and sisters of the newborn) should wash their hands carefully before handling the infant. Other family members and friends with cold symptoms should be asked to wait until the symptoms disappear before they visit the baby.

  • You should minimize taking a newborn into public places such as grocery stores, shopping centers, etc. during these months.

  • Should your infant display cold symptoms that concern you, you should call your pediatrician, family practitioner, or clinic for advice/directions. Should symptoms worsen seek further medical help.