What is RSV? Your baby’s health Infections and your baby Quick facts Resources Patients Healthcare professional Français

 

 

Is your baby at risk?

 

In many children, RSV causes symptoms similar to those of the common cold. But in certain cases, most often in premature babies (preemies) and in children less than 2 years old with certain lung conditions or congenital heart disease, RSV can cause an infection of the lungs.

 

 

 

RSV can get complicated

 

When RSV causes an infection in the lungs, babies can become very sick and may require hospitalization. RSV can also cause the inflammation of the small airways in the lung, called bronchiolitis. In fact, RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis during the first year of life.

 

 

 

Which babies are at risk?

 

Premature babies (preemies)
Your baby is at greater risk of serious RSV infection if he/she was born prematurely (before 36 weeks of pregnancy) and is less than 6 months old at the start of RSV season.

 

Babies with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)
Infants with BPD (formerly called chronic lung disease of infancy) have been shown to be at increased risk of RSV-related hospitalization until 24 months of age.

 

Babies with congenital heart disease (CHD)
There are several different types of CHD. Some types can increase the risk of developing a serious form of RSV disease. If your baby has this condition, ask your doctor for more specific information.

 

 

 

 

 

Is it easy to catch RSV?

 

Yes. RSV is a very common virus that is spread by any physical contact such as touching, kissing or shaking hands with an infected person.

 

  • The virus is also spread through the air when an infected person sneezes or coughs.
  • RSV can live for hours on a countertop or on a used tissue.
  • RSV infection is very common in crowded living areas and daycare centres.
  • A person can be exposed to the virus and give it to others without knowing it.

For these reasons, it’s important to be very careful and take steps to prevent your baby from being exposed to RSV.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it easy to catch RSV?

 

Yes. RSV is a very common virus that is spread by any physical contact such as touching, kissing or shaking hands with an infected person.

 

  • The virus is also spread through the air when an infected person sneezes or coughs.
  • RSV can live for hours on a countertop or on a used tissue.
  • RSV infection is very common in crowded living areas and daycare centres.
  • A person can be exposed to the virus and give it to others without knowing it.

For these reasons, it’s important to be very careful and take steps to prevent your baby from being exposed to RSV.

 

 

 

 

RSV infections and your baby

 

In some cases, RSV can cause an infection of the lungs. When this happens, babies can become very sick and may require hospitalization.

 

 

 

 

If your baby is considered to be at high risk for serious complications from an RSV infection, talk to your doctor. Ask what you can do to help protect your baby, and what steps you should take if he/she develops any symptoms.

 

Get the facts.
Ask your doctor.