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A cough, a wheeze, a sniffle. For an infant or young child, these symptoms may mark the beginning of a virus that places a huge burden on their families and their health for years to come.

So explains “The Burden of RSV: Impacting All Families,” a recently released white paper from the National Coalition for Infant Health.

While not every child experiences RSV the same, many develop harsh symptoms that can seriously hinder their wellbeing. And the impact of RSV extends beyond the sick child to their family.

A Burdensome Experience

While adults may experience RSV as “just a cold,” infants and young children can face serious damage and harsh symptoms from the virus. And RSV is not rare.

While preemies and infants are particularly vulnerable, children under the age of 5 are still at a high risk of severe RSV.

Long-Term Consequences

The impact of RSV does not end when a baby’s immune system finally wins out against the virus. The harm caused by RSV, unfortunately, can lead to further difficulties for the baby and their family. RSV can lead to:

Despite the harm RSV causes, no cure or vaccine yet exists. There are preventive interventions, but not everyone can access them.

Read “The Burden of RSV: Impacting All Families” to learn more about RSV, its impact and how families and health care providers can work to prevent it.

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