You may have seen the acronym 'RSV' in the news recently. But what is it, exactly?
RSV stands for Respiratory Syncytial Virus. While it is a common virus and almost all children will have an RSV infection by their second birthday, some strains can cause serious illness that requires hospital care.
The symptoms of RSV infection are typical symptoms of a cold and include:
an infected person coughs or sneezes (as the virus droplets get in your eyes, nose or mouth)
there is direct contact with the virus (such as kissing a child's face with RSV)
someone touches surfaces with the virus on them and then touches their face
There is no specific treatment for RSV infection — and most cases go away on their own in one to two weeks. However, there are several things you can do to help prevent the spread of RSV:
— Educate your loved ones about the dangers of kissing a baby
— Ensure exceptional hand washing of you and everyone else
— Limit your pēpi's exposure to crowds and anyone with a cold
— Don't let your little one share drinks, cutlery or toys
If your little one's cold is getting worse, or they're showing signs of respiratory distress, talk to us. Your baby may have RSV, and it's essential we get them the help they need as soon as possible.