How does an infant catch rsv?

Are you tired of being sneezed on by your little one and catching one cold after another? Well, buckle up, because we’re about to explore how infants get infected with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). Don’t worry; this won’t be a snooze fest like that biology class where the prof wore socks and sandals together.

What is RSV?

Firstly, let’s break down what we’re dealing with here. Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV is a common virus that infects people of all ages but can lead to serious complications in young children and older adults. It typically causes upper respiratory tract infections such as bronchiolitis (inflammation of air passages in lungs) and pneumonia (lung infection).

How Does Transmission Occur?

Now that you know what it is, let’s talk about how the little buggers catch it- easier said than done. RSV transmission occurs when…

  • Infected droplets enter through the nose, mouth or eyes
    which are released when infected individuals cough or sneeze.

  • Direct contact with contaminated surfaces

Yup! Your kid could catch something just from touching the wrong counter-top at Starbucks.

It’s important to note that once your baby has caught RSV, they can spread it around for weeks even if they don’t seem sick anymore(1). #wtf

Risk Factors

Another thing you need to bear in mind is that certain risk factors make babies more susceptible to getting ill from RSV. Some examples include:

Premature birth

Babies born before 37 weeks have underdeveloped immune systems making them more vulnerable.

Crowded Environment

Daycare centers …need I say more?!

Congenital Heart Defects

This condition makes breathing harder already causing increase susceptibility.

Other Lung Conditions

Asthma, cystic fibrosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are all conditions that can put individuals at higher risk for severe complications when infected with RSV.

Prevention Tips

It’s always better to play it safe then end up spending your vacation in the hospital because of a virus that could have easily been avoided. Here are some practical tips:

Wash Those Hands!

If you haven’t already got hand sanitizer stocked up, good luck getting any from Walmart now! Washing your hands frequently and sanitizing surfaces is crucial(2).

Avoid Crowded Places Where Possible

Say goodbye to those crowded indoor playhouses sigh.

Breastfeed Your Infant

Breast milk contains immune functioning cells meaning baby gets extra protection. So breath easy moms!

Limit Contact With Sick People

Signing off all social events until further notice- haha just kidding…sort of 🙂

What Can You Do If Your Baby Catches It?

So once your baby catches the flu, what next? Get them one of those ‘I Survived RSV’ tee shirts as a first step.

In most cases, parents should focus on their infants being comfortable while they recover. Cool mist humidifiers help reduce coughing fits by moistening airways so babies sleep well at night-time.

Doctors may also recommend nasal suction to clear blocked noses if breathing becomes difficult but hey let’s be honest this task is not for the faint-hearted among us #grosssssss.

There are some medications available for treating specific types of infections resulting from RS V. Always speak with a pediatrician before giving babies medication/drugs especially over-the-counter treatments as many aren’t suitable or don’t work effectively in infants due to underdeveloped immune systems.

Future research will hopefully find new options like vaccines for young children which could significantly reduce infant deaths caused by severe infections resulting from RSV (1).

We hope you enjoyed our run down of how infants get infected with RSV. As much as we would love to banish all viruses from ever entering our lives…unfortunately that wish is never going to come true. However, understanding how they work and taking steps for prevention goes a long way in reducing illnesses caused by such infections.

Stay healthy people…we mean it!