Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV is one version of the common cold that may only cause a slight cough, watery nasal congestion, and mild fever in older children or adults. But in babies that were born very prematurely, RSV causes many more problems. Often, these babies are sick for weeks, may wheeze for months or even years, and can go on to develop chronic lung disease. Many cannot get enough oxygen and must be admitted to the hospital, sometimes even for a week or longer. The sickest of these babies may even need to be placed on a breathing machine or heart lung bypass. Some babies with RSV die.
The good news is that there is an effective way to prevent RSV. A prophylaxis therapy that is given monthly during the RSV season to babies who were born prematurely has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and has been available for many years.
The National Perinatal Association has recently revised the guidelines for the prevention and treatment of RSV in babies born prematurely who are at risk for the more serious consequences of RSV.
NEW: 2018 Respiratory Syncytial Virus Prevention Guidelines can be accessed at Neonatology Today
2015 NPA RSV Guideline Supporters
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RSV Information and Resources
WATCH: The Gap Baby: An RSV Story by the National Coalition for Infant Health
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