Imagine your two-month-old baby gets what you think is a common cold. Her little nose is stuffed up and her little cries are stifled by her horse coughs. She can’t keep her formula down, she spits up at every feeding. She is not running a fever but you decide to call her doctor anyway for advice on what to do for her.
Her doctor’s advice is to monitor her and if she doesn’t show improvement in the next couple of days bring her in. Next thing you know she is gasping for air so strenuously that you can feel her little ribs through her sleeper. You rush her to the emergency room and watch as seven or more nurses and doctors work on her little body.
They stabilize her breathing, but she has to be transported through life-link to the children’s hospital. Upon arrival, they put her on a breathing machine that pumps oxygen and assist keeping her lungs inflating. They admit her to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where you have to wear full protective gowns and mask to avoid the spread of contagious germs.
They continue to run test to determine her diagnosis. This is more than just a common cold. The diagnosis comes back Respiratory Syncytial Virus also known as RSV and Bronchiolitis. This is what my sweet little baby cousin Kylie and her family had to endure.
According to kidshealth.org, RSV is a viral infection that affects the lungs and bronchioles in young children. In adults RSV may only produce symptom of a common cold, such as stuffy nose, sore throat, mild headache, cough, and fever. RSV infections are responsible for more than half of all cases of Bronchiolitis.
RSV is highly contagious and is spread when someone coughs or sneezes. It can live on surfaces, clothing, and hands, so it spreads very easily. Other illness caused by RSV is bronchiolitis and pneumonia.
So as this winter madness is upon us, remember to wash your hands and use hand sanitizer! Germs are much harder to contain when you have other children in the home, but encouraging everyone in your household to cover there coughs and keep their hands clean will go a long way.
After all of our prayers, thoughts and well wishes, I am happy to say Kylie is feeling better and is back home with her family!
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