Disclosure: This is is a compensated campaign in collaboration with MedImmune and Latina Bloggers Connect. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.
Did you know there’s a seasonal virus contracted by virtually 100% of babies by the time they reach their 2nd birthday?
Yes, you read that correctly, 100%. It’s called RSV: Respiratory Syncytial Virus.
But guess what? If you haven’t ever heard about RSV (like me before writing this post) you aren’t alone. In fact, 75% of Hispanic mothers have never heard about it. Sadly, about 1 in 5 only become aware of RSV once their child has contracted the virus.
Coincidentally, I just found out that a friend’s baby also contracted RSV as an infant! I guess it shouldn’t surprise me, given the statistics. That’s why it’s so important for new moms and experienced moms a like, to learn all the facts on how to prevent the virus.
What kind of virus is it exactly? RSV typically leads to a mild respiratory infection, although in some cases such as in preemies, the virus can become extremely severe due to the baby’s underdeveloped lungs and immune system. That’s why awareness is SO important.
Even though infants born from Hispanics and African-American mothers are at increased risk for developing severe RSV (especially given the high prematurity rates amongst Hispanic communities), ALL parents need to be aware of the key facts about RSV to protect their children.
Here are a few #ABCsofRSV and prevention tips to keep in mind:
RSV typically causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms in healthy, full-term babies. However, it’s not just any virus. Preterm infants are especially at risk because their undeveloped lungs and immature immune systems put them at heightened risk for developing severe RSV disease, often requiring hospitalization. Even scarier, RSV disease is responsible for 1 of every 13 pediatrician visits and one of every 38 trips to the ER in children under the age of five.
B is for Babies
Premature babies—born before 37 weeks gestation—are most at risk for developing severe RSV disease because they have underdeveloped lungs and fewer antibodies to fight the virus than babies born full term.
C is for Contagious
RSV is very contagious and can be spread easily through touching, sneezing and coughing. Additionally, the virus can live on the skin and surfaces for hours. Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits these symptoms: persistent coughing or wheezing, bluish color around the mouth or fingernails, rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths or fever over 100.4°F in infants under 3 months of age.
For more information, please check out and share the infographic below.
Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a prenatal and postpartum educator at MommysBundle.com.