A dad posted a viral warning about hand-washing after his daughter contracted RSV.
It’s cold season, and no one knows that better than us parents who’ve had coughing, sniffling, sneezing kids for the past two months. It’s easy to forget, though, that sometimes what we think is just a cold can actually be much more severe. A Tennessee dad is urging everyone to please wash their nasty, germ-coated hands after his infant daughter almost died from a highly contagious respiratory infection.
The dad — whose name is unknown — posted the warning on Imgur along with photos of his “little fighter” who’s been in the hospital for over three weeks.
She was originally admitted with viral meningitis, but recovered quickly “since it was a light case.” Now, she remains hospitalized and has almost died as she battles a very serious respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). He writes:
“We almost lost her last Monday. Our local hospital told us if she got any worse there was nothing more they could do for her. We had to move her to a better facility… As soon as the pediatric team arrived at the hospital to pick her up, she flatlined. They revived her and put her on a ventilator immediately. Since then, she has been diagnosed with of course RSV, a severe case of pneumonia, type h flu, bronchialitis, and a partially collapsed right lung.”
He reports that the baby is doing much better, but still requires oxygen “for comfort.” He adds that he’s so grateful to the medical team who helped his daughter survive, but understands now how serious “simple” colds and viruses can be.
“RSV is no joke. I didn’t know much about it until a week ago when it almost took my daughter from me. Please make sure to wash your hands before handling little ones. And make sure to wrap them up when heading outside into the cold.”
According to the CDC, RSV is a respiratory virus that is usually characterized by mild, cold-like symptoms, but in infants it can quickly turn severe. Ari Brown, a pediatrician who spoke with Yahoo Parents, echoed the dad’s warning about how serious it can be, saying, “Though 97 percent of kids do fine with it and become ‘happy wheezers,’ so to speak, with a cough for four to six weeks then they get over it, for a small subset of kids, they can get really sick and need oxygen support.”
RSV is highly contagious and is spread through droplets from coughs or sneezes. It can also survive on hard surfaces like door handles and grocery carts, so the best way to keep from contracting it or spreading it to others is simply to wash your hands. In fact, that’s a good way to prevent the spread of lots of different illnesses. Just sanitize the fuck out of your hands. All the time.
Obviously, there’s no way of knowing exactly how this baby contracted RSV, but either way there’s no excuse for going near an infant with dirty hands. Babies are vulnerable. Their immune system is still developing, and every new sickness is an opportunity for something to go wrong. We can’t prevent all illnesses, but we can do our part to not be disgusting germ-mobiles, and we should make the effort whenever we can. As this dad’s heartbreaking post shows, parents need all the help they can get when it comes to keeping kids safe and healthy.