Respiratory virus highly contagious with babies - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Respiratory virus highly contagious with babies

January 7, 2003

Albany - It's a respiratory virus that's highly contagious among babies and could be deadly. In America, 90,000 babies are hospitalized a year from RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), several hundreds die.

RSV is seasonal and more prominent between October and March. Usually kids three and under get the virus, and 50 percent are more than likely to get it again. Treatments include a breathing machine called a nebulizer. Dr. Bruce Smith of Southwest Georgia Pediatric Doctor Bruce Smith, says, "It can be prevented, but not with a regular vaccine. We can't figure out how to make a vaccine for RSV. Children who get RSV infections, their bodies don't remember their infection well enough from getting it again and again."

RSV approximately doubles risk of asthma and symptoms are similar. Babies may wheeze, cough and have a shortness of breath, lasting up to a few weeks.

RSV can live on your hand for at least a half an hour and several hours on hard surfaces, like toys. It can be passed on to adults, causing a mild cold.

RSV can be deadly for high risk babies with lung and heart problems, especially premature babies.

posted at 5:05PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com

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