Children’s Health Alert: RSV {Interview}

Children’s Health Alert: RSV {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 help prevent their children from contracting RSV.

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. RSV is a common, seasonal virus contracted by nearly 100 percent of infants by the age of two.1

RSV disease is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies during their first year of life in the US.2 RSV occurs in epidemics, typically from November through March in most of the US, but RSV season can vary by geography and from year to year.3 RSV usually causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms, but in some babies, it can cause a serious infection.4,5

While every baby is at risk of contracting RSV, babies born prematurely – <36 weeks gestational age (wGA) – are at increased risk for developing severe RSV disease.5 They are at high risk due to their underdeveloped lungs and immature immune systems.6,7 In addition to preterm infants, children with congenital heart disease (CHD) and a chronic lung condition called bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) are often at high risk for developing severe RSV disease.5

Since there is no treatment specific for RSV disease, prevention is critical. All parents – especially parents of high-risk babies – should know the steps they can take to help protect their children from contracting RSV. Preventative methods include washing your hands and asking others to do the same; keeping toys, clothes blankets and sheets clean; keeping tobacco smoke away from your child; and avoiding crowds and being around people, including young children, who may be sick during RSV season.8

Join me in a recent interview with Dr. Michael Forbes, Pediatrician and Director of Clinical Research (PICU) and Outcomes Analysis at Akron’s Children’s Hospital, as he provided important information about RSV to help educate all parents about the signs and symptoms to look out for and the important prevention tips to help protect their baby from contracting RSV.

View the entire interview here:

For more information, go to


Dr. Michael Forbes Bio

Dr. Michael Forbes is a Pediatric & Adolescent Intensive Care Specialist (Intensivist). He is an avid child advocate and scientist dedicated to continuous improvement in pediatric healthcare and public policy. Dr. Forbes is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Northeast Ohio Medical University. In addition, he is an Associate Chair, Department of Pediatrics and Medical Director of the Hospital-Based Subspecialties at Akron Children’s Hospital, and was recently elected Vice President of the Medical Staff. Since 2006 he has served at Akron Children’s Hospital as the Director of Clinical Research & Outcomes Analysis (Intensive Care).

He has authored many peer-reviewed articles, abstracts, presentations and in the areas of infectious diseases, sepsis, respiratory failure, pediatric care delivery models, child abuse and is a scientific reviewer for a number of journals including the Journal of Pediatrics, Critical Care Medicine, and Pediatric Critical Care Medicine.

After undergraduate education at the University of Pittsburgh, he completed his Pediatrics Residency and Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of the UPMC (Pgh.). He was awarded a Fellowship in Biomedical Informatics from the National Institutes of Health in 2010 and was a member of the Pediatric Critical Care Scientist Development Program (NIH). He has served on the Allegheny County Child Death Review Team (Pgh.), and was Director of Pediatric Critical Care & Hospital Medicine at Allegheny General Hospital prior to his arrival in Akron, Ohio.

Over 3 decades ago he convinced Dr. Yolanda Moore-Forbes, a Pediatrician at Akron Children’s Hospital, to say “I do.” They have 2 adult children, Michael Antonio and Nia Imani.



  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. Accessed June 18, 2018.
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms and Care. Accessed June 18, 2018.
  5. Boyce TG, Mellen BG, Mitchel EF, et al. Rates of hospitalizations for respiratory syncytial virus infection among children in Medicaid. J Pediatr. 2000; 137:865-70.
  6. Langston C, Kida K, Reed M, Thurlbeck WM. Human lung growth in late gestation and in the neonate. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1984; 129:607-613.
  7. Yeung CY, Hobbs JR. Serum-gamma-G-globulin levels in normal premature, post-mature and “small-for-dates” newborn babies. Lancet. 1968; 7557:11 67-11 70.
  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. RSV Prevention. Accessed June 18, 2018.


 Interview courtesy: AstraZeneca


Cynthia Tait

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