The flu virus is a big concern as it becomes more widespread, but there’s another virus parents need to keep on their radar.
“The one virus that we see that really kind of worries us as pediatricians, as far as a virus that causes significant disease, is a virus called RSV, Respiratory Syncytial Virus,” professor of pediatrics for Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Dr. Joseph Gigante said.
Gigante says in adults the RSV virus just seems like a common cold, but if infants get the virus it can get into their lungs and can cause significant breathing problems and even dehydration.
“We’ve seen a number of infants that have been sick with it and infants who have been hospitalized with it,” Gigante said. “Like clockwork you know when RSV season comes along, which is the winter time, we’re going to see lots and lots of kids who get RSV.”
Gigante says parents should look for RSV symptoms which could be fast deep breathing, or signs or dehydration like, less wet diapers, crying without tears and not eating or drinking normally.
Gigante says parents should keep people who are feeling sick away from their children, and if people in the house are sick constantly wash hands and disinfect around the home.
Right now there is no vaccine for RSV but researchers are working to develop one.
The flu vaccine is still available, and Gigante says it's better to act soon since the vaccine takes about two weeks to become effective
For more information about RSV you can visit Vanderbilt’s Health Library.