Parents may think it’s a cold or even the flu.
But just before the new year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning that parents or guardians of children under the age of 1 ought to monitor symptoms like a runny nose, a decrease in appetite or consumption of liquids, coughing, sneezing, fever or wheezing.
That cold or flu could actually be Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).
RSV usually clears up on its own. But if it hasn’t and the symptoms have persisted — especially if the baby seems dehydrated — the CDC urges parents to contact their pediatrician. RSV could lead to bronchitis and pneumonia in children under the age of 1.
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The elderly are also vulnerable to this virus, so they should call their physician under the same circumstances.
There’s no specific treatment for RSV infection, though researchers are working to develop vaccines and medications to fight the virus, the CDC said.
If hospitalization is required, doctors will usually intubate the patient with a breathing tube or a machine to help with breathing.
▪ Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
▪ Try not to touch your face with unwashed hands;
▪ Cover your mouth when you have to sneeze or cough;
▪ Stay home when you’re sick — your boss and colleagues will appreciate that courtesy in the long run.