There’s More To “RSV” Than You Thought


It’s been almost two years since Knox was admitted to hospital for RSV.

What is RSV?  Well, it’s full name is Respiratory Syncytial Virus (although I like to refer to it as the “Really Sucky Virus”) and besides being ridiculously contagious it is one of the main causes of respiratory illnesses in young children.  Not only is it spread by a cough or sneeze, traces left on surfaces also transmit the disease.

Apparently almost all kids are infected with RSV at least once by the time they reach 2 years old.


The girls managed to evade it (or maybe it just presented itself in the sniffles – it’s not always necessary to actually check to make sure that it really is RSV), but Knox was hit hard.  He was just a little poppet, only like 6 months old or something and he stopped eating and could hardly breathe without hacking out a lung.

While confined to the “contagious” section of the childrens ward, he was poked and pricked and had things shoved in places he’d rather forget, but we finally made it out and tried to forget about the whole thing.

Except we couldn’t.

The poor little dude would just have a bit of a runny nose for a couple of days and then suddenly he had another chest infection.  By the time March rolled around, he’d already been sick four times!!!  I couldn’t take it anymore (and let’s face it – neither could my wallet) and so I headed off to the pead for a preventative treatment plan.

Good thing we did, because apparently after having RSV the patient is highly susceptible to further chest infections for the next couple of years.

So to prevent it, we now have a combination of nose drops, a pump to be administered through the spacer mask and an anti-allergic medicine (Allecet) to minimise the reaction he has to things that he may be struggling with.

Since March he has only been sick once.  Woohoo!

If your kid has been struggling with chest infections, I hope that this has helped a bit, if not here’s…

When to Call the Doctor

Call the doctor if your child has any of these symptoms:

  • high fever with ill appearance
  • thick nasal discharge
  • worsening cough or cough that produces yellow, green, or gray mucus
  • signs of dehydration
  • trouble breathing

In infants, besides the symptoms already mentioned, call the doctor if your baby is unusually irritable or inactive, or refuses to breastfeed or bottle-feed.

Seek immediate medical help if you feel your child is having difficulty breathing or is breathing very rapidly, is lethargic, or if his or her lips or fingernails appear blue.


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10 thoughts on “There’s More To “RSV” Than You Thought

  1. We had it with our little boy too… he has ended up being diagnosed with infantile asthma (apparently one of the things a kid who has RSV as a baby is susceptible to), but since diagnosis and the crazy space mask to inhale Foxair, we at last get a full night’s sleep. Parents should get their kid tested for this if they have a high pitched cough when they sleep – something to do with cortisone levels at night I think…

  2. Pretty sure both my first and second born must have had this more than once only it was never actually diagnosed. Scary.

  3. My daughter, 14 months at the time, was admitted to hospital after contracting a cough in October 2014. This cough refused to go away, she coughed all day and night. Even after 2 visits to the doctor she still didn’t get better. On the 3rd of March, Tuesday, the coughing got so bad that she vomited and that was the last straw. We rushed her to the hospital at about 22h30 and she was admitted at 03h00 Wednesday morning after having tests and bloods drawn. After a day in the general ward the pediatrician advised that my daughter had RSV. We were moved to isolation and stayed there for Thursday and Friday. She had to be nebulized every 2 hrs then every 4 hours, had medication to take as well. Because it is a virus it needed to work its way out of her system and we could only treat the symptoms. After spending 2 days in isolation we were able to go home as her chest had improved. At home i needed to still neb her and give medicine but after a couple days the cough disappeared and she was back to normal. I can honestly say now that i regret not taking her in earlier but once I had the doctors were able to determine what was wrong and help my daughter. This RSV is very real and not nice for children but can be cured 🙂

  4. Ah…that acronym still sends chills down my spine and Sarah is now 5 years old. She had RSV at 7 Weeks 😦 on cpap for 26hrs and our stay was 15 days long. She was then susceptible to chest infections and was admitted to hosp. 7 times the first year of her life. At 10months she contracted swine flu…?at this point I thought that I must’ve done something in my life and now my little baby has to suffer…I was bleak. But despite her eventful first year, she was and is the happiest little girl. She is on asthma meds and we use preventative meds from April – October, which has been approved by med aid as chronic meds. She is managing well now and it has been a bit better each year

    All the best with your little one!

  5. The twins and I spent a less than delightful week in hospital with that same bugger when they were 6 months old. made a complete recovery (but he was less sick than C) but C got stuck with a bad case of pediatric asthma as a result. He has almost totally outgrown it but the two scariest moments in my parenting life was rushing him to hospital with a combo of asthma and croup. Very scary stuff. In the end we settled on Singulair – a life saver for us but with some side effects. (If you want to read more about it search Singulair on my blog – it turned him into the healthier of the twins. It supports chest function)

  6. My premmie, who had received 6 vaccinations against RSV, unfortunately also acquired RSV at about 5 months old. Since then we’ve also had recurring chest issues and he is now 2 years old, but luckily this second time mommy basically is a (unqualified) paed these days lol and I’ve been managing it with the huff puff kit and allecet. Its amazing how us moms become dr’s and nurses as well. Haha

  7. We have had it too and Monte Air Sprinkles seem to have really really helped keep any new infections from recurring.

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