When we brought Roxy home from the NICU, we were instructed to quarantine her for four months. The reason? It was the height of RSV season.
RSV is respiratory syncitial virus. It is an infection of the respiratory system which affects the lungs and breathing passageways.
In preemies and other small children, it can lead to even bigger problems.
RSV is common in late fall through early spring. It can be spread through coughing and sneezing and is highly contagious. If present in a school or daycare, it will spread rapidly.
Roxy received a monthly shot for RSV. Although it did not keep her from contracting RSV, it would help lessen the severity of the symptoms.
To prevent RSV, frequent hand-washing and surface-washing is practical. It can live on door knobs, countertops, etc.
There is not much to be done in treating RSV as it is a viral rather than bacteria infection. Antibiotics are moot. Doctors can prescribe medication to help alleviate the symptoms. Some small children have to be hospitalized so that they may receive fluids, be monitored closely, and receive breathing treatments, if necessary. At home, you just want to make your child as comfortable as possible and make sure they receive lots of fluids.
With Roxy coming home mid-November, we kept her away from large gatherings of people and small children until April. It is hard to keep them away, especially during the holidays, but its very important and is in their best interest.