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The Times Record - 12/19/2017

Keeping newborn babies safe is a priority for mothers, fathers and other caregivers. Various ailments can afflict newborns, and one many new parents may be unfamiliar with is respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. According to Hackensack Meridian Health, RSV is the leading cause of hospitalization of babies younger than one year of age in the United States. RSV produces symptoms similar to the common cold or the flu and can include runny nose, cough and trouble breathing. In severe cases, particularly in infants, a baby may need to be hospitalized if his or her breathing is greatly compromised. Examples of severe infections include bronchiolitis (an inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia. RSV also can affect adults, but healthy adults are usually only affected by mild symptoms, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In such instances, recovery can take between one and two weeks. Researchers are looking into immunizing pregnant women against RSV as a way to help protect babies from the virus.


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