RSV: Is Your Baby At Risk?

    What Are The More Severe Symptoms?

    Call your healthcare provider right away if your baby has any of these symptoms:

    • A fever greater than 100.4° F (rectal)
    • Persistent coughing
    • Wheezing
    • Rapid breathing
    • Problems breathing or gasping for breath
    • Blue color on the lips and/or around the mouth

    How Is RSV Treated?

    Most children with RSV get better without medical treatment. If hospitalized, some children may need breathing treatments or fever medicine.

    What If My Child Needs Additional Treatment?

    Right now there are preventive RSV therapies for more serious cases, including a treatment called RSV prophylaxis. However, in 2009, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued more restrictive access guidelines for preventive RSV therapy, putting nearly 145,000 additional infants at risk for potentially life threatening RSV (particularly minority babies in poorer, often urban, households). The AAP guidelines are often used by Medicaid and private insurers to determine eligibility to receive access this therapy.

    Fortunately, there has been some debate within the medical community over the validity of the new AAP dosing guidelines. In response, the National Medical Association (NMA) has released suggestions regarding RSV. In addition, the Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the CDC is reviewing the current AAP guidelines and is expected to issue its own recommendations for RSV care in the very near future.

    “The healthcare community is outraged by the AAP’s guidelines, and considers them to be inappropriate, and non-evidence based,” says Dr. Mitchell Goldstein. “It’s very hard to tell a hopefully family that they can’t see a newborn baby, and to watch them go from hope to the devastation of death.

    Can RSV Be Prevented?

    Talking to your healthcare provider is one of the best steps you can take to help reduce your baby’s exposure to RSV (and protect against them developing more serious symptoms).

    In general:

    • Limit Contact. Reduce your baby’s contact with people infected, or potentially infected, with the virus.
    • Wash/Sanitize Hands. The RSV virus can live on the hands for up to 13 minutes.
    • Isolate Your Baby. If the child is already in the hospital, ensure that they are as isolated as possible to limit infection.

    In addition, be sure to ask your doctor:

    • When does the RSV season occurs in my area, and what time of year is my baby most at risk for contracting RSV?
    • Is my baby potentially at a higher risk?
    • What additional protective steps can I take?
    • How is RSV contracted, and how can I protect my baby from the virus’ germs?
    • Is it okay for me to take my baby public gatherings, such as church and family outings?
    • Is it safe for me to travel with my baby?

    Dr. Goldstein provided one  last essential note: “Parents still have the right to be an advocate: they can reduce risk factors, ask politicians to push for more coverage, and use competing guidelines to help demand for RSV therapy coverage, such as what can be found at: http://nationalperinatal.org.

    For more information about RSV, please visit:www.RSVprotection.com

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