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Germs and your baby
As a new parent, your baby is likely a source of great joy, and of great worry. But one of your biggest fears is probably of something so tiny you can’t even see it – the germ.
Not all germs are created equal
Germs are what we commonly call viruses and bacteria – the microscopic organisms that cause infections. In the case of RSV, the culprit is a virus, which means once your baby is infected, there is no direct treatment. Unlike bacterial infections, viral infections cannot be treated with antibiotics.
Germs are a worry for all new parents, even those of healthy babies. And while no parent wants to see their baby get sick, some babies face greater risks than others when they do become infected.
For example, babies who were born prematurely and babies born with heart or lung conditions are at increased risk for developing serious complications from an RSV infection.
Why are some babies at greater risk than others?
In the case of preemies (babies born prematurely), your baby’s immune system may not have developed sufficiently before he/she was born, leaving him/her more vulnerable to infection than full-term infants.
In the case of RSV, the antibodies that help protect your baby from infection are usually passed from mother to baby late in pregnancy. If your baby is born before this occurs, he/she will lack the natural protection necessary to fight off the infection and help reduce the risk of complications.
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.