What's Going Around: Respiratory Syncytial Virus

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Health care providers are still seeing lots of flu, but they're seeing another big virus with a little name, “RSV.”

Respiratory Syncytial Virus is What's Going Around and it is highly contagious.

For most babies, RSV is comparable to a cold with symptoms including a runny nose and congestion, but it can create bigger problems including bronchiolitis or inflammation of the small airways of the lungs -- and even pneumonia which can be life-threatening.

A lot of times parents or caregivers can suck the mucus out and babies can breathe easier for at least a half hour or 45 minutes, but Dr. Mike Patrick of Nationwide Children’s Hospital said it’s important to monitor.

“They also get that mucus produced again created down in the lungs as well along with inflammation it makes it difficult for air to move through the lungs and then causes wheezing.”

If your baby has trouble breathing or coughs with mucus those can be symptoms of RSV.

You can prevent the virus by cleaning and disinfecting hard surfaces in your home, washing your hands often and thoroughly and because it is highly contagious, try to limit your baby’s time in daycare.