Cold and flu season is upon us, and you're doing what you can to protect your family. But it's important to know that not all colds are the same. While RSV, which stands for respiratory syncytial virus, starts with cold-like symptoms such as coughing, running nose, and fever, it can become much more serious—even life threatening. RSV is the most common cause of pneumonia and bronchiolitis in children younger than one year of age in the U.S. and results in 57,000 hospitalizations in children under age five.*
"I remember when my daughter was born and, within one month, we were back at the PICU, watching her fight for her life," says Ted N., a parent of two. "She was having difficulty breathing and wasn't feeding properly as a result. She became extremely dehydrated, and things went downhill fast. It was absolutely terrifying."
According to Dr. Steven Goudy, a pediatric ENT and founder of Dr. Noze Best, here's what you need to know about cold season and RSV:
- A child or adult infected with RSV usually display symptoms within four to six days of contracting it, and they are typically contagious for three to eight days.
- In very young infants infected with RSV, the only symptoms may be decreased activity, irritability, and breathing difficulties. Look for fast breathing, flaring of the nostrils, or belly exertion (pushing the belly in and out).
- There is no specific treatment for RSV, but there are actions you can take to help your child. Breastfeed or bottle feed often to prevent dehydration and clear out your baby's nose with a nasal aspirator to help them breathe more easily.
- If your baby is lethargic, is struggling to breathe, or isn’t eating, they may need to be treated in a hospital.
*According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Learn more in this video with Dr. Goudy from our recent appearance at the Atlanta Baby Expo.