Common virus can pose significant danger for tiny patients

POSTED: Monday, March 11, 2013 - 9:00am

UPDATED: Monday, March 11, 2013 - 9:03am

Pediatricians have been warning parents for weeks that Respiratory Syncytial Virus is at epidemic levels in Texas.

Doctors say RSV is very common, highly contagious and can even be fatal in the youngest of patients.

"It's actually been a pretty significant year," said Dr. Stephen Welty, Chief of Neonatology at Texas Children's Hospital.

Welty said the cases are worse for younger children.

Baby Jayden was only 5 months old when he was admitted to TCH for RSV coupled with a slight case of pneumonia.

"He coughs so much that he will start to turn purple from lack of oxygen, and by the time he is done coughing, he is gasping for air," said Brianna Villasan, Jayden's mother.

RSV season peaks at the same time as cold and flu, but Welty said the difference is RSV affects the lower respiratory tract.

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