During the winter season, more and more children begin to suffer from severe respiratory problems...
A disease that affects children more often in the winter months can have devastating affects if not treated in time.
RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus is a viral disease that can affect anyone or everyone but the one's that are most likely to get ill from it are the very young and the very old.
As a pediatrician, Dr. Eric Levy's patients tend to be younger children and infants that are affected by this disease. "Mostly where we're going to see some problems which require some hospitalization we're going to see infants typically under six months of age...the more seriously are going to be under about two months of age."
Dr. Levy says these patients get congestion where it's very difficult to breathe because they're severely stuffy. "The infection can get into their lungs and so they get what we call a neumanitis or a viral infection of the lungs or a neumonia with a virus."
They tend to breathe hard, can't feed right, they're restless and if they become more ill they don't get enough oxygen. "At that point most of the time they have to get treatments typically in the hospital."
Dr. Levy says this disease is not something parents can totally prevent. It comes in cycles, some years are worse than others. The disease lasts anywhere from five to seven days before a child gets better. "Things that we can do to help so that we don't get as much disease..good hand washing..so having the hand sanitizer around the house where you're going to change diapers in rooms where you're going to do any kind of contact with the infant is going to help quite a bit."
Dr. Levy says awareness of RSV and practicing good standard sanitation procedures will go a long way in trying to decrease the disease.
If an infant has a dry persistent cough, doesn't want to eat, runs a low grade fever..and just isn't feeling well...contact their physician and get them checked immediately.