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RSV is a serious illness for infants, especially preterm babies

01-25-2011

While respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) might mean a runny nose and cough for most folks, for newborns and the elderly, it could be a life-threatening illness.

In a new video podcast by Akron Children’s Hospital, pediatric intensivist Michael Forbes, MD, provides an overview of RSV, a leading cause for hospitalization of infants.
Dr. Forbes explains that much like the flu season, RSV season begins in November and intensifies in January and February. There is no cure for RSV, so doctors offer supportive care to the most vulnerable patients who contract RSV -- those who are born prematurely, those who are born during the RSV season and those who have lung and heart disease. He advises parents to have preterm babies vaccinated with Synagis, a series of five shots that has decreased infant hospitalization by 50 percent.

“RSV lives on inanimate objects. For example, if I sneeze and put my hand on the table, I will leave RSV there. You may come by and, of course, you can’t see it. You may put your hand there and then on your nose or your face, or bite your nails. Then you’ll get it, too,” said Dr. Forbes. “The top three things you can do to prevent RSV are to wash your hands, wash your hands and wash your hands.”

Dr. Forbes describes the signs and symptoms of RSV and gives advice on when parents should give their child’s pediatrician a call.
 

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Video: RSV

Media Contact

Holly Pupino
330-543-4360
hpupino@chmca.org

Laurie Schueler
330-543-3400
lschueler@chmca.org