In September 2009, I became a mom to Jacob. He's my 3rd born, so I naturally felt I had this whole motherhood thing down. And then, in December, Jacob contracted RSV - Respiratory Syncytial Virus- and I felt like I was thrown a curveball. Here I was a seasoned mom, yet I'd never really heard or been educated about RSV. What I've learned about since, is that preemie babies are at higher risk for developing RSV. In fact, they're twice as likely as full-term infants to be admitted to the hospital for RSV-related symptoms.
RSV is a common virus that affects nearly 100% of babies by age 2. And although my Jacob was not born prematurely, preemies (born earlier than 37 weeks gestation) are at heightened risk for severe RSV disease due to their underdeveloped lungs and immature immune systems. RSV season usually occurs from November through March for most of the U.S., but can vary regionally and from year to year.
RSV disease is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies during their first year of life in the United States, with approximately 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 200 infant deaths each year. Despite being so common, many parents aren’t aware of RSV; in fact, one-third of mothers have never heard of the virus, as was certainly true in my case.
Signs and Symptoms of RSV:
- Persistent coughing or wheezing
- Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
- Bluish color around the lips, mouth, or fingernails
- Fever (especially if it is over 100.4°F [rectal] in infants under 3 months of age)
I remember that Jacob had all of these symptoms and was just so sick that it scared me. I just knew that something was "off" or "not right" with him. I am so grateful I listened to my instinct and was able to get him the medical attention he needed.
Of course, I'm happy to share that Jacob fully recovered from his RSV days, and is a happy, healthy 6 year old boy today. He enjoys school, sports and playing with his siblings. I just posted this photo to Instagram recently, after his very first basketball game.
Do you still have questions about RSV? Make sure and visit www.RSVprotection.com for some really great and detailed information and to find resources you need to protect your family. Remember that when it comes to RSV, prevention is key since there is no cure. I'm so grateful for the treatment Jacob received, as he recovered quickly after his bout with RSV.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.