With RSV on the rise, here’s why parents ask you to not kiss their baby

KENNEWICK, Wash. – “It can be a really rough, rough road for these babies,” Dr. John Winkleman with Trios Health said about RSV.

Winkleman, a Pediatric doctor, said Respiratory Syncytial Virus tends to spike during this time of year, and it can be tricky.

“In older kids, and adults it might just be a little bit of a nasal cold, maybe low grade fever,” he explained.

But, in toddlers or infants.

“About 20 to 30 percent of kids get RSV can get it in their lungs and when they get it in their lungs its called bronchiolitis. Can’t breathe very well, get tired of breathing fast, they don’t eat very well and they usually have to go to the hospital for that,” he said.

Preemies and babies with heart issues also tend to be at higher risk, Winkleman added.

RSV is something Pasco mother Jessica Gidley knows all too well.

“It’s scary,” the mother of two said.

In 2012, her daughter Jordyn Gray caught RSV when she was only four months old.

“She couldn’t breathe – she started coughing,” Gidley remembered.

At the time, Jessica said she had no idea what RSV was, but she knew something wasn’t right so she took Jordyn to the hospital.

“They said if I didn’t’ get her in soon enough, she could’ve had pneumonia,” Gidley said.

Luckily, little Jordyn wasn’t hospitalized but Jessica said her recovery was tough.

“It’s hard to get out, you can’t just sneeze it out or cough it up,” Dr. Winkleman said they can give oxygen treatments and nebulize for RSV.

“It really hurt that I couldn’t help that’s where I felt helpless. I stayed up every night to make sure she was breathing, it’s so hard to stay up and sit there to make sure she was breathing,” Jessica added.

Winkleman explained RSV is spread through droplets and people can be contagious for the first couple days they’re sick. Droplets can be spread through a sneeze, cough or kiss, which is why many parents will ask visitors to not kiss their newborn child.

Remember, even if you think it’s the cold, in adults and older children, Winkleman said it still could be the virus.

Jessica said if you’ll be around babies, it’s best to check with parents before you give them a snuggle.

“You can’t be selfish about it, you’re going to have another chance to hold that baby you’re gonna have another chance to kiss that baby. You just have to respect that parent and what they’re going to do for their baby,” she said.

To learn more about the virus, the CDC has a full list of symptoms.

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