Your baby is coughing and has a runny nose. It could be a cold, but it could also be something far more serious for infants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says this is the time of year when parents should be on the lookout for the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).
Cold season is well under way. For most of us, this means putting up with a week or two of sneezing, nasal congestion and cough. For babies, though, the same viruses that are a nuisance for their parents and older siblings can pose a real danger.
December and January typically see a peak in a number of respiratory viruses. Among them are respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, plus a host of other viruses that have similar effects. Most people infected with RSV, young and old, develop an upper respiratory infection— basically cold symptoms from the neck up. The younger the patient is, though, the higher the risk of developing more serious illness. Infants, especially young babies born prematurely, are at higher risk of developing a lower respiratory infection, involving the lungs.