Protect your child from RSV

Respiratory Syncytial Virus is a common cause of infections in young kids


RSV, or Respiratory Syncytial Virus, is one of the most common viruses that cause respiratory tract infections in young children. While there are competing theories as to whether RSV is brought on by temperature changes, doctors say there are definitely seasonal spikes in RSV that usually begin in fall and continue until early spring in the u-s. Dr. Giovanni Piedimonte with Cleveland Clinic Children's says that recent studies have even shown a correlation between humidity and RSV.

"There is a very close correlation between temperature and humidity. And what happens, we believe, is certain levels of humidity/temperature, the viral particles tend to conglomerate in larger particles that get into the airways easier," he explained.

RSV is not an airborne virus, meaning that it is passed through direct contact or by touching a surface that has been exposed to the virus.Piedimonte says that RSV can stay alive on a surface for several hours and that most kids pick it up by touching a surface and then touching their eyes or nose. The good news is that while the respiratory infection can be scary for children and their parents, most cases of RSV will resolve on their own.

"This virus infects virtually every child by 2 years of age, around the globe. And only probably 20-30 percent of these children need to see a doctor," said Piedimonte.

He adds that good hand washing is essential when it comes to preventing your child from getting RSV, as well as keeping them away from people who are sick.