Respiratory virus to be alert for in young

November 24 2021

THIS winter doctors predict that more babies and toddlers than ever will catch RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) and the latest information from the UK’s public health protection agency, UKHSA, shows that cases of RSV in the South West are on the rise.

RSV is a common, highly infectious virus that usually circulates at this time of year and causes coughs and colds. It’s the main cause of breathing difficulties in younger children and while most will only experience mild symptoms, it can lead to more serious respiratory problems in very young children with health conditions or complex medical needs. Now we are mixing more, very young children are at particular risk of getting RSV because they won’t have been exposed to this virus yet, or had the chance to build up a natural immunity to it.

As a charity supporting families with disabled children Contact wants to make sure that all families in the area recognise the signs and symptoms of RSV, how to reduce the risk of their child getting respiratory infections in the first place and to take action early by seeking advice and help from your pharmacy or GP if your child develops breathing problems as a result of the virus. You can find out more about RSV and other winter viruses on our website www.contact.org.uk or if you have a question you can call our helpline on 0808 808 3555. Being aware of RSV alongside getting the flu vaccination and the Covid-19 booster jab are some of the key ways to protect yours and the health of your children with disabilities and health conditions so everyone keeps well this winter.

Amanda Batten
CEO of Contact, the charity for families with disabled children