October Is RSV Awareness Month {Interview}

With October being RSV Awareness Month, it’s an opportunity to raise awareness of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the dangers it may present and how parents can protect their babies’ little lungs!

As colder temperatures approach, parents should be educated about seasonal viruses such as the common cold and influenza. Additionally, many parents may be unaware of another seasonal virus, respiratory syncytial virus, also known as RSV. It’s a highly contagious and common virus that is contracted by nearly all infants by the age of two.1

RSV disease is the leading source of hospitalizations in infants <1 year of age.2 The RSV season typically occurs from fall to spring, but it may begin earlier or last longer in certain areas. RSV symptoms are similar to the common cold and flu. Parents may be unaware that if not addressed quickly, RSV can develop into a much more serious infection among high-risk populations.3,4

While every baby is at risk of contracting RSV, premature infants <6 months of age are twice as likely as full-term infants to be admitted to the hospital for RSV-related symptoms.5 Premature infants have underdeveloped lungs and may lack infection-fighting antibodies.6,7 Babies born with certain types of heart or lung disease are also at high risk for severe RSV disease.8

It is important to note that there is no therapy for RSV disease once it’s contracted, making it necessary for parents to know prevention methods to help protect their children. Prevention methods include washing your hands frequently, refraining from smoking in home or near your baby, washing your babies’ toys, clothes, and bedding often, and keeping your baby away from crowds and young children.

Join me in a recent interview with Dr. Mitchell Goldstein, Pediatrician at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital and Jennifer Degl (parent advocate) as they provide important information about RSV to help educate all parents about the signs and symptoms to look out for and important prevention tips to help protect their baby’s little lungs. Jennifer also took time to share her personal experience and key learnings to help fellow parents and parents-to-be regarding RSV.

The complete interview is here: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/K929zqUZS4

For more information, go to www.littlelungs.com.

Mitchell Goldstein, MD, FAAP  

Dr. Mitchell Goldstein is Medical Director Emeritus and Fellowship Coordinator of the Neonatal ICU in the Family Birth & Newborn Center. He completed his undergraduate and medical school in the University of Miami’s six-year Honors Medical Program on the Dean’s List and Phi Beta Kappa. He completed his Pediatrics residency at UCLA and Neonatology fellowship at UC Irvine. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Perinatology. He is past president of the Perinatal Advisory Council: Leadership, Advocacy & Consultation (PAC-LAC), is the editor of PAC-LAC’s Guidelines of Care, and is PAC-LAC’s CME Research Chairman. He is past president of the National Perinatal Association. He is on the board of the American Academy of Pediatrics Perinatal Section. He is an Associate Professor in Pediatrics at Loma Linda University Medical Center. He is Board Certified in both Pediatrics and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is fluent in Spanish.

Jennifer Degl Bio

Jennifer Degl is a high school science teacher and mother of four children. Jennifer’s youngest child, Joy, was born at 23 weeks, weighing only 1 lb. and 4 oz. Following her birth, Jennifer authored the book titled, From Hope to Joy: A Memoir of a Mother’s Determination and Her Micro Preemie’s Struggle to Beat the Odds. Jennifer and her husband, John, currently live in Mahopac, NY.                                                                             


  1. Glezen WP, Taber LJ, Frank AL, Kasel JA. Risk of Primary Infection and Reinfection with Respiratory Syncytial Virus. Am J Dis Child. 1986; 140:543-546.
  2. Leader S, Kohlhase K. Respiratory syncytial virus-coded pediatric hospitalizations, 1997 to 1999. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2002; 21: 629-632.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. RSV Transmission. https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/about/transmission.html. Accessed August 4, 2017.
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms and Care. https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/about/symptoms.html. Accessed August 4, 2017.
  5. Boyce TG, Mellen BG, Mitchel EF Jr, Wright PF, Griffin MR. Rates of hospitalizations for respiratory syncytial virus infection among children in Medicaid. J Pediatr. 2000; 137:865-870.
  6. Langston C, Kida K, Reed M, Thurlbeck WM. Human lung growth in late gestation and in the neonate. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1984; 607-613.
  7. Yeung CY, Hobbs JR. Serum-gamma-G-globulin levels in normal premature, post-mature and “small-for-dates” newborn babies. Lancet. 1968; 1167-1170.
  8. American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2015 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases. Pickering LK, ed. 30th ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2015.


Interview courtesy: AstraZeneca





Cynthia Tait

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