I received a question from Brooke (via our new iPhone App). Her six month old has RSV, pneumonia and a double ear infection.
As we discussed yesterday, it is RSV season and children under one year of age seem to have the greatest problem handling the virus.
It is not uncommon for a young child to develop an ear infection after developing RSV, and secondary pneumonias are also a problem . Unfortunately, there is not a vaccine to prevent RSV infection and only high risk infants are eligible to receive Synagis (a monoclonal antibody against RSV) to help prevent serious infection.
The treatment for RSV is also supportive, with IV fluids and supplemental oxygen used for hospitalized infants. The use of bronchodilators and steroids has been controversial, and does not seem to be therapeutic. Antibiotics are used for secondary ear infections. Younger children have a higher incidence of secondary problems.
There is not a “perfect” way to prevent RSV, but limiting your baby’s exposure to other children (daycare, public places) and to make sure that no one smokes around your child is helpful.
The older your child is when they develop RSV (about 80% of children by 1 year of age) typically makes it easier for them to handle the virus. Unfortunately, you can get RSV more than once during RSV season.
The season usually ends about April, so we are getting closer!
That’s your daily dose for today. We’ll chat again tomorrow!