Doctors warn against kissing babies with dangerous RSV on the rise


DALLAS – It's sometimes hard to resist, but doctors are warning people to avoid kissing babies due to a virus on the rise that could be dangerous to infants.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, is fairly common, but infants under six months old are the most vulnerable, WFAA reports.

"In the younger children, it can be more serious and cause a lot of issues and even hospitalizations," Dr. Tiffany Hill of UT Health East Texas said.

Some cases are so serious that infants are unable to get enough air into their lungs and pass away from lack of oxygen.

RSV symptoms such as runny nose, wet cough, fever and irritability may appear like a normal cold, but there are differences; including that it lasts almost four weeks longer than a cold.

In addition, there is no treatment for the virus, according to Dr. Hill.

Should an infant be tested positive for RSV, parents are urged to use fluids, humidifiers and saline washes to comfort their child and help them breathe better. If the infant does not get better, parents need to take them back to the doctor for reevaluation.

As always, parents should keep their hands clean and free of germs before touching their young children, and be cautious of who else comes in contact with them.