The ABCs of RSV

Dr. Sergio Golombek, MD

This article, entitled "The ABCs of RSV," is presented by MedImmune.

RSV is a common and highly contagious virus contracted by nearly 100 percent of babies by their second birthday. Doctors say it’s typical to see a spike in RSV cases in the winter, as RSV season runs from November – March.

In the video below, Dr. Sergio Golombek, MD, Neonatologist and Professor of Pediatrics and Clinical Public Health, New York Medical College, and preemie mother, Kim Sutherland, discuss the ABCs of RSV, including symptoms parents should look for, and offer tips on how to protect children against the illness.

Parents should know the ABCs of RSV to help protect their children this year:

A is for awareness: Although RSV is the leading cause of hospitalization among infants, many parents are unaware of the dangers that RSV presents. In fact, one-third of mothers have never heard of RSV. Additionally, two-thirds of Hispanic mothers have never heard of RSV and many only learn of the virus after their child has become sick.

B is for babies: Although RSV most often causes mild, cold or flu-like symptoms, in some babies it can develop into something much more serious—especially in preterm infants who have underdeveloped lungs and immature immune systems. RSV can also disproportionately affect multicultural infants, as data indicates infants from African-American and Hispanic communities are at increased risk to develop severe RSV disease.

C is for contagious: RSV can live on skin and surfaces for hours, causing cold and flu-like symptoms, so parents should remember to:

  • Wash your hands and ask others to do the same
  • Keep toys, clothes, blankets, and sheets clean
  • Avoid crowds and other young children during RSV season

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