Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a common contagious airborne virus that infects the respiratory system. According to the US Center for Disease Control (CDC), the virus causes mild cold symptoms, such as runny nose, cough, sneezing, and decreased appetite, in healthy adults and infants. People infected with RSV, are usually contagious for 3-8 days, but may still be contagious 1-2 days before showing symptoms. In 2022, RSV has become a particular concern as the number of cases have caused alarm amongst pediatricians nationwide. With hospitalization rates amongst newborns more than doubling, prevention strategies have become more important than ever.
Helping prevent the spread of RSV amongst at risk populations, such as premature infants or children with respiratory conditions, is as simple with several easy things to remember:
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve.
- Wash hands with soap and water for a least 20 seconds between person-to-person contact.
- Avoid close contact, such as hugging, shaking hands, or sharing toys as well as food and drink containers with others.
- Frequently clean high traffic areas, such as kitchen countertops, doorknobs, and even mobile devices.
By implementing these simple strategies, the risk of virus transmission (giving it to someone else) is reduced by as much as 90% in some cases according to ourbabyneeds.com CEO and Registered Nurse (RN) Yitzchak David. Additionally, by spreading awareness among parents about the virus and how to prevent it, reduces the impact among those at risk.
- Center for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/index.html
- CNBC: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/11/18/biden-asked-to-declare-emergency-over-rsv-flu-kids-hospitalizations.html.