Warning to parents: infants at risk for RSV this season

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The winter season is a common time for people to get colds or the flu, but for smaller children, this time of year can be especially dangerous with the spread of viruses like respiratory syncytial virus or RSV.

RSV causes the lining in the airways to get inflamed, making it hard for little ones to breathe.

It’s something that could send your child to the emergency room, according to doctors at Wesley Children’s Hospital in Wichita.

KSN talked with one family whose 10-month-old son was fighting for his life because of RSV just days ago.

“You sit here, and you just want to cry because you don’t know if it’s going to get better or if you’re going to be here another week or not because it just depends on the virus and how it takes over your child,” said Jessica Delgado.

Delgado sought help for her son Czezare when he first came down with cold-like symptoms but nothing helped.

“He was just laying on the couch moaning,” she said. “He wasn’t playful, he was just lethargic and sad and just real red, puffy and just not feeling good.”

Things got scary when Czezare had trouble breathing.

“It’ll keep you up at night because you’re worried if they’re gonna just stop,” Delgado said.

Trouble breathing is what doctors say is a sure sign of something serious.

“I would say if your child has any signs that they’re working hard to breathe, they’re breathing heavy, they’re breathing hard, they’re breathing fast or if they’re not feeding well, then they probably need to be evaluated,” said Dr. Stephanie Kuhlmann.

Delgado has two older children who have been sick before but this time was different, she said.

“They could say, ‘It hurts,’ you know, ‘my stomach hurts. My head hurts.’ Well, with a baby you don’t have that satisfaction of them being able to say, ‘Hey my head hurts. I can’t breathe,’” Delgado said.

Czezare spent four to five days undergoing deep suctioning treatments in the hospital before he was well enough to go home.

“I believe that every mother deserves the right to know what the symptoms and signs are so they can take care of their own child,” Delgado said.

Wesley Children’s Hospital sees around 100 cases of RSV in infants each year.

Some of the symptoms include, the difficulty breathing, heavy nasal discharge, extreme tiredness, especially when during times they’d normally be active, and refusing to breastfeed or bottle-feed.