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RSV Ė Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Information provided by MedImmune Inc.

 What is RSV?  RSV is a very common and highly contagious disease that generally occurs from Fall through Spring.  Most children who are infected suffer only mild cold symptoms.   But for premature babies, up to the age of two, RSV can be very serious.  RSV can be spread by the touch of someone who has a cold or through coughing or sneezing.  RSV can also be spread by kissing the baby.  If you have a cold or a fever, limit contact with the baby.

 How can I prevent RSV?

         Most important, before touching the baby wash hands with soap and warm water every time! 

         Avoid exposing your baby to crowded areas like shopping malls, daycare centers, buses, large family gatherings and church.

         Donít smoke anywhere in the babyís home.  Smoke increases the danger of RSV infection.

bulletCall your healthcare professional if your baby has any of these symptoms:

* rapid breathing

* difficult breathing

* gasping for breath

* wheezing

* coughing

* blue lips or mouth

bulletWhen prescribed by your babyís physician, Synagis protection needs to be given monthly during the RSV season.  Adverse events with Synagis can include fever, nervouseness, injection site reaction, vomiting and diarrhea.  Ask you pediatrician.

 Which babies are at risk for severe RSV disease?

bulletWhich babies are at risk?  These are some of the factors that place premature babies at higher risk for serious RSV infection:

*  Born more than four weeks early

*  Distance to hospital

*  Availability of hospital care

*  Having school-age brothers or sisters

*  Placing baby in child care center

*  Exposure to tobacco smoke

bulletSeasonal Risk.  During the RSV season premature babies are at greater risk.  RSV disease, like the flu, is seasonal, extending from Fall through Spring.  It varies from place to place and from year to year.  Ask your healthcare professional when the season begins and ends in your area.  (The Lehigh Valley is usually from October to April)

 Facts for Parents about Synagis.

bulletRSV is a common, highly contagious virus that can be very serious in premature infants who have not received natural virus-fighting substances from their mothers.
bulletSynagis is a medication that has been proven to be safe and effective in prevention of severe RSV disease in high-risk children.
bulletRSV is seasonal usually beginning in the Fall and running through the Spring.  Your baby needs one injection of Synagis each month during the RSV season.
bulletSynagis injections can be given right in your healthcare professionalís office.  Injections cause little or no discomfort.
bulletYour baby can be in danger of serious RSV disease if you miss or postpone an injection.  Synagis protection needs to be given monthly during the RSV season.
bulletSynagis has been used safely in thousands of babies.  Adverse events with Synagis can include fever, nervousness, injection site reaction, vomiting and diarrhea.

 To find our more information on RSV, log onto, or talk to your pediatrician

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