RSV Awareness

Cold and flu season is upon us.  It’s froze overnight this week then the next day it was in the 60s by lunch.  Go figure, it’s Texas.

But this time of the year is really important to watch those colds.  Babies born during the fall and winter months are extremely susceptible to RSV.  Especially babies born before 37 weeks.

Ava was born at 37 weeks, while Allie was born at 39 weeks.  We were very lucky that they weren’t born sooner, especially Ava, born on the tails of a December ice storm in Dallas.   RSV is particularly dangerous in preemies and those in the Hispanic community.

So what is RSV? It’s a virus that can cause symptoms similar to a cold in most kids.  But in preemies and those prone to asthma or with weakened immune systems, it can be deadly. Think flu on steroids. RSV is very contagious and can be spread easily through touching, sneezing and coughing.  HELLO DAYCARE.

Despite the fact that Allie was born in May, she was diagnosed with RSV that January and she was 8 months old.  It was horrendous and scary.  When the doctor said she wanted to test for it, I was sure it’d come back negative. But it didn’t.  She had RSV and I was terrified of the implications.  I have friends whose kids had RSV as tiny babies and it has turned into chronic asthma or other problems.  Thank God for us it hasn’t been the case for us, but when your baby is so sick she is crying for hours when she never cries, that’s scary.

Why am I writing this? For awareness.  It’s important to know the symptoms.

Before Allie was diagnosed, I had no idea what RSV was, only that it was bad.  I didn’t know the symptoms, I didn’t know the statistics. But I needed to know.

And so do you so  you can protect your babies or someone else’s.

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Tomorrow, November 17th is World Prematurity Day, a day dedicated to help raise awareness about prematurity and the potential risks associated with pre-term birth. With underdeveloped organs and immature immune systems, babies born prior to 37 weeks can be especially prone to infections from seemingly harmless viruses like the common cold, the flu or RSV.

Know the Symptoms

Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits one or more of the following:

  • Severe coughing,  wheezing or rapid gasping breaths
  • Blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails
  • High fever and extreme fatigue

Prematurity and RSV in the U.S. Hispanic Community

  • The current rate of preterm births in the U.S. Hispanic community is 11.66 percent. Since 2006, the preterm rate has declined 5 percent for Hispanic infants.
  • Data indicate that infants from U.S. Hispanic communities are at increased risk to develop severe RSV disease; while the exact reason for the increased risk is unknown, the increased prematurity rate is likely a contributing factor.

For more information about RSV, please visit the RSV Protection Site.

Disclaimer: this post is compensated and in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect. All opinions and stories are true and are mine. This is a cause important to me and I’m happy to share.

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