Although premature infants are at increased risk of hospitalization due to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), nearly one half of parents of premature infants are not aware of preventive medicine that can help protect their babies from RSV, according to a recent Internet survey from the National Perinatal Association (NPA). With premature births at a record high of one in eight births each year, there's an urgent need to close this information gap -- especially now that RSV season is well underway. RSV infection occurs most often from late fall to early spring. Most illness occurs between November and April, although there may be seasonal variation in different regions of the country.
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalization and that the rate increased 25 percent between 1997 and 2002.4 The early symptoms of RSV are often similar to those of a cold or influenza, but the consequences of RSV infection may be more serious for premature infants, who are at greater risk of developing severe bronchiolitis or pneumonia and being hospitalized.5 Each year 125,000 hospitalizations occur in young children due to RSV-related bronchiolitis or lower respiratory tract infection, and one to two percent of these infants die.6
"We need to do more to educate parents about how they can reduce their babies' risk for becoming victims of this virus, which lands far too many infants in the hospital," said NPA President Albert L. Pizzica, D.O., FAAP.
Ninety percent of parents whose babies have been hospitalized with RSV say that parents need better information about RSV prevention. Speaking from their own experience, almost 58 percent of these parents said they did not know about medication that could have helped prevent their child's hospitalization.
The NPA survey also shed light on how the arrival of a premature child can affect a fPage: 1 2 Related medicine news :1
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