‘Just think about them first:’ Doctor on preventing RSV cases in children over the holidays

Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 6:16 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Children, especially babies, have been the targets of one virus this season. It’s called Respiratory Syncytial Virus.

Doctors say cases could rise over the holidays

Once a month Ashley Krahwinkel brings her four-month-old daughter Maddie to SouthCoast Pediatrics to receive a treatment that lessens the risk of getting Respiratory Syncyctial Virus or RSV.

“We had a little bit of a scare of RSV, I would say, about a month ago now.”

That’s in part because of an uptick in RSV cases over the past month according to pediatricians.

“We probably see RSV in the office every single day.”

The symptoms are kind of like the Flu. You may have a runny nose or fever but infants, like Maddie, are at higher risk of getting RSV with more severe symptoms, according to Dr. Amanda Hendricks.

“An infant is much more at risk to develop that bronchiolitis syndrome that we talk about with RSV where they get a lot more inflammation in their smallest airways and produce a lot of mucus.”

Maddie was born prematurely, so her doctor says it’s even more vital she gets the treatment to lessen the chance of getting RSV. The treatment is only available to high risk patients.

“We obviously want to do everything to prevent her from getting it because if she were to get RSV, I think it would be very terrifying for us.”

Hendricks says if a baby is breathing 60 or more times a minute that’s a sign to see a doctor or go to the hospital.

She also says RSV may spread even more now...

“With the holidays coming up more people traveling and getting together, my suspicion is we may see another sort of rise in cases or outbreak of RSV.”

And as the holidays are already here and you may be visiting family and friends or their coming to see you, they both say it’s important to put the health of children and babies first.

“Ask people to wash their hands before they hold her. Don’t touch her hands. Don’t kiss her. If you really want to do anything, touch her feet, touch her belly.”

And it never hurts to wash your hands frequently and stay away from others if you’re coming down with a cold.

“Just think about them first.”