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Respiratory syncytial virus - what every parent should know

View profile for Judith Thomas-Whittingham
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Discrimination and paternity leave

What is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)?

RSV is a common respiratory virus which usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. However, the virus can be very serious for infants and older adults. Public Health England have said that whilst it should cause mild illness for the vast majority of the population, babies and those aged under two are at a higher risk.

What symptoms should parents look out for?

  • Has had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more
  • Has taken less than half their usual amount in the last two or three feeds
  • Has a persistent temperature of 37.8C or above
  • Is tired and irritable.

If your child displays any of these symptoms then you should contact your GP or call NHS 111.

However, if your child develops difficulty breathing and their lips or tongue are looking blue then you must call 999 as this could be a medical emergency.

Due to Covid being responsible for lockdowns and social distancing, young children have not been exposed to this common winter virus and will have a weakened immunity. The NHS are already seeing an increase in this virus, even though we are in the summer months when it is usually less common.

It is imperative that you seek medical attention as earlier diagnosis and treatment will lead to a favourable outcome.

If your child has suffered an injury due to a delay in diagnosing and treating RSV then we may be able to help you pursue a claim for compensation. Our leading team of experts are on hand to offer advice, so please get in touch with us on 0161 696 6165 or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly.