Each year, one or two infants out of every 100 who are fighting RSV infections and under 6 months of age require hospitalization due to the severity of their illness, CDC officials said. The hospital stays sometimes require intubation or mechanical ventilation to help a child breathe.
"RSV creates lots and lots of mucus and their airwaves are tiny," pediatrician Stephanie Shults told WBIR. "They don't know how to cough, they don't know how to blow their (noses)."
Symptoms of RSV infections in infants include irritability, decreased activity, decreased appetite and apnea, according to the CDC.
"You're looking more for respiratory effort," Shults told WBIR. "If the child's breathing more than once a second, which is 60 times a minute, they're not drinking well (and) they're not urinating as much as normal."
In adults, symptoms typically include a runny nose, a decrease in appetite, coughing, sneezing, fever and wheezing. However, health officials said symptoms don't always surface in infected adults.
Vicetti told KWWL that parents should take precautions and make sure people wash their hands before touching or holding their babies.
"If you have a younger infant, you're really the stopping point for the illness," Hill told KYTX. She recommended parents and caregivers get vaccinated and that they keep people who feel sick from making physical contact with their children.
"It really is better for the baby," she said, according to KYTX.