My son got RSV; I was right to panic

RSV is a respiratory virus that mostly manifests with mild cold-like symptoms, but can cause pneumonia and bronchiolitis in young children. It can be life-threatening in infants and senior adults. 



November 11, 2022 - 11:36 AM

In this file photo, Meredith Legree of Lakeville, Minnesota, holds her son Andrew, 3, as respiratory therapist holds a mask to his face for a nebulizer treatment to help decrease inflammation in his airway and allow him to breathe easier as they waited for the results of his RSV test at Children' Hospital of St. Paul. (Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)

When my youngest son was only a few months old he became ill with what I thought at the time was just a cold that was affecting his breathing. Absent an official pediatric diagnosis, I treated the cold-like symptoms with the usual over-the-counter medications for babies. 

He did not get better. At least not right away. 

One evening I noticed he was struggling to breathe. I panicked, called an ambulance and rushed my normally jovial baby to the hospital. Turns out he was suffering from respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, the same contagious virus that in recent months has been pushing hospitals around the country to capacity.

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