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by The Kid's Doctor Staff

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RSV is a viral illness that almost all children catch at least once before they are two years old. RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) can cause an infection that can be dangerous for some babies. Most of the time, the virus only causes coldlike symptoms.

For some infants who were born prematurely or were born with severe lung disease, RSV can be a potentially serious problem.

Like most other common colds, RSV is highly contagious and most often occurs in fall andwinter (roughly November through April). It can spread directly from person to person, orindirectly when someone touches any object infected with the virus, such as toys, countertops,doorknobs, or pens.

Because RSV is so dangerous to newborns, parents should take certain steps to prevent exposure to RSV. Pediatrician Dr. Sue Hubbard says the easiest preventative step a parent can take is to keep that newborn your-baby at home and away from crowded germ-filled areas like restaurants, malls and churches.

Dr. Hubbard says parents should immediately call the pediatrician if a child appears to have trouble breathing or turns a little “dusky” in color when trying to cough.

Since RSV is a virus, it does not respond to antibiotics. “It really doesn’t seem to respond to much except supportive care, and tincture of time,” says Dr. Hubbard.

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