We often hear of the dangers of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) during the winter months. The peak season for RSV is between the months of November and April. It is important to realize that RSV can still pose a threat in the summer months. One of the complications of RSV is bronchiolitis. This is an infection of the bronchioles, some of the smallest airways in the lungs. This infection can be quite scary.
Unfortunately I have dealt with bronchiolitis and RSV with two of my children. Both cases have occurred during the summer months. Since my babies have all been winter babies, I have always been careful about exposing them to germs during the winter. It was surprising when my first was diagnosed in May. I was not as surprised when my second was diagnosed in the summer as well.
It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of RSV and bronchiolitis. RSV symptoms include running a fever and other cold like symptoms. You can treat this the way you would a normal cold, as long as you keep the fever under control and keep your baby well hydrated. As with all fevers in infants, you should check with the doctor if it goes above one hundred degrees for more than a day.
As RSV begins to clear up you will need to watch for the symptoms of bronchiolitis. These include a bad cough and wheezing while breathing. The wheezing may seem to worsen at night. If you feel that your child is having trouble breathing you should immediately contact a doctor. The amount of wheezing and discomfort can vary from child to child.
It is also interesting to note that while RSV is the leading cause of bronchiolitis, other viruses can also cause it. One of my sons developed it without running a fever. So you should pay attention to your child’s breathing and coughing throughout the year.