In October, RSV Awareness Month Recognized by Patients, Providers, Advocates

The month generates awareness about respiratory syncytial virus, a serious disease that poses risks for all infants

October 4, 2021 10:00 AM EDT

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Coalition for Infant Health and allied organizations, health care providers, patients and advocates will recognize October as national #RSVAwareness Month to elevate awareness about respiratory syncytial virus, a seasonal virus that can be very serious for infants and young children. The awareness month efforts will highlight the signs and symptoms of RSV, the impact on infants and young children, and protective measures.

Throughout October the hashtag #RSVAwareness will be used to share stories and resources about RSV to help parents, caregivers, health care providers and policymakers understand that RSV is a dangerous virus and that all infants are at risk, especially those born preterm or with underlying health conditions.

RSV is a highly contagious seasonal virus that causes respiratory infections including pneumonia and bronchiolitis. It can be serious, even deadly, for some babies and young children, requiring hospitalization and intensive care. Parents and caregivers often confuse the signs and symptoms of RSV for the common cold or flu. But RSV is far from the cold and flu.

RSV season usually runs from October to March. But this summer, according to the CDC, hospitals and doctor's offices saw a significant spike in cases of RSV, causing alarm among health care providers and parents.

Cameron's RSV Story

Deskin's RSV Story

Adam's RSV Story

RSV Fast Facts

  • RSV is a highly contagious seasonal virus that can cause severe respiratory infections
  • RSV is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies less than one year old
  • On average, babies less than one year old are 16 times more likely to be hospitalized for RSV than for the flu
  • RSV disproportionately impacts low-income and minority communities
  • RSV is the most common cause of pneumonia and bronchiolitis in babies less than one year old
  • All babies and young children are at risk of RSV
  • RSV season usually runs from October to March
  • RSV can live on surfaces for hours

Signs and Symptoms of RSV

  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Struggling to breathe (breastbone sinks inward when breathing)
  • Difficulty eating
  • Lethargy
  • Wheezing

RSV Prevention Tips

  • Wash hands often
  • Avoid taking your baby into large crowds
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean and sanitize surfaces frequently, including toys
  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Don't smoke around your baby

To learn more about RSV, visit our RSV resources page.

About the National Coalition for Infant HealthThe National Coalition for Infant Health is a collaborative of professional, clinical, community health, and family support organizations focused on education and advocacy to promote patient-centered care for infants and their families.

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SOURCE National Coalition for Infant Health

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