Who's most at risk Premature infants and babies with congenital lung or heart disease. A preventive medication, Synagis, is often given to high-risk babies during RSV season; ask your pediatrician about it.
Symptoms RSV may seem like a cold at first, with a fever and a runny nose. Symptoms may worsen and include severe congestion, coughing so hard it interferes with breathing and eating, wheezing, and rapid breathing.
When to call the doctor When a baby younger than 6 months or at high risk for RSV catches a cold, or when an older baby develops a cold that rapidly gets worse.
Treatment For less extreme cases of RSV, ease congestion with a humidifier, saline nose drops, and a nasal aspirator. Your doctor may also prescribe a bronchodilator -- a drug that opens up the breathing tubes. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary so your baby can get support from a breathing machine until the infection clears.