As the leading cause of hospitalization for children under one, every parent should be aware of the signs and symptoms of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Symptoms are similar to a mild cold complete with sneezing, coughing, wheezing and a runny nose. According to the CDC the virus goes away on it's own in most cases within a week or two. However, it's important to note that this common virus can cause serious illness resulting in bronchiolitis and pneumonia for children under one or older adults.
When Shanisty Ireland was told Adam, her 5-week-old son, had RSV, she had no idea what it was or about the dangers he could face until he was placed on a breathing machine and admitted to an ICU.
Leading up to his hospitalization, Adam, who was a healthy, full-term baby, was getting worse after being sick while his older siblings were getting better. Ireland took him to his doctor where he tested positive for RSV.
"I remember the tech coming in and saying take him home and watch him. I got no explanation on what RSV was," Ireland said.
At home she became concerned about his breathing and rushed him to the emergency room. "He was really close to dying. It was so terrifying. It went from your son has a virus to being hooked up on machines fighting for his life," Ireland said.
Today, Ireland is using her blog “Shanisty Ireland, She’s Becoming Domestic” to educate others about RSV and share her story.
Sandee Gruner is a full-time working mom with a love for writing and communications. She resides in Southern California with her husband and two children, where she enjoys spending time with her family, exploring local attractions and volunteering.