CLEVELAND (WJW) – A virus that’s especially dangerous for infants has doctors warning against kissing babies this holiday season.
Dr. Amy Edwards, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, said respiratory syncytial virus or RSV is near its peak.
Symptoms include coughing, wheezing and trouble breathing.
In adults, RSV may seem like a bad cold, but it can be very serious for infants, especially those under six months old, Edwards said. It can even lead to pneumonia.
“During respiratory season, during cold and flu season, don’t kiss the babies,” Edwards said.
Doctors are reminding everyone to wash hands this time of year and avoid getting too close to babies if you’re feeling sick.
“You might think, ‘I just have a minor cold, it’s not RSV,’ but you don’t know. It’s impossible for you to know, so if you’ve got the sniffles, if you’re a little bit sick, just don’t touch the baby,” Edwards said.
Since RSV is a virus, there aren’t specific treatments, but symptoms can be managed. Doctors recommend keeping the baby hydrated and consulting a doctor if there are breathing problems or other concerns.