A rise in respiratory infections among babies

Posted on January 19, 2022

Rsv image two dads

Bliss is campaigning to raise awareness of the risks of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infections among babies and children born premature or sick , with cases soaring this winter.

RSV is a common virus that causes cold-like symptoms but can cause critical illnesses such as bronchiolitis in babies born premature or sick. Like other seasonal coughs, colds, and flu, RSV is usually most prevalent in the UK between October and March each year. However, since people began mixing again, there has steadily been an increase in cases mainly in children aged under five.

As per the most recent government report, cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) remain low with the potential of increasing, with the highest positivity in the under 5-year-olds at 9.4%.

What are the signs and symptoms of RSV?

In the early stages, RSV symptoms are like a common cold (runny or blocked nose, cough, sneezing and high temperatures).

Symptoms usually last between one and three weeks. If the lungs are affected, one or more of the following symptoms will develop or get worse:

  • A cough that gets worse
  • Wheezing – a whistling sound when breathing out
  • Difficulty or distress when breathing
  • Reduction in feeding and drinking because of breathing difficulties.

What support does Bliss offer?

If you’re struggling and would like some support with RSV, please get in touch with hello@bliss.org.uk – we’re here to help you every step of the way.

We offer information and guidance on RSV at bliss.org.uk/RSV.

We also have a short animation on RSV that is translated into Gujarati, Polish, Punjabi, Urdu, and Bengali.

Read Bethan’s RSV story

Read Bethan’s story, where she explains what happened when her two daughters caught RSV.
Read here
Bethan 5