Is My Baby at Risk?

Clinical Risk Factors RSV Risk Factors
Clinical Risk Factors
Children born prematurely or with certain lung or heart problems have a greater risk of getting a more serious RSV infection.1,2
In most children, RSV usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. But for babies at risk, RSV may cause serious lung infections such as pneumonia and bronchiolitis, causing tiny airways in the lungs to swell and fill with mucus, making it hard to breathe.1,3,4
What conditions cause a higher risk for serious RSV infections?1-3,5,6
Babies born prematurely
Babies who were born prematurely (the mother’s pregnancy lasted 37 weeks or less) and are 6 months of age or younger at the beginning of the RSV season
Children with certain types of chronic lung problems
Babies or toddlers with a certain type of chronic lung problem (doctors refer to this as bronchopulmonary dysplasia, or BPD) and are 24 months of age or younger
Children with certain types of heart problems
Babies or toddlers born with certain types of heart problems (doctors refer to this as congenital heart disease, or CHD) and are 24 months of age or younger
Environmental Risk Factors
There are other risk factors that could increase a baby’s chances of getting a serious RSV lung infection. These include5:
Being born smaller than usual
Family history of asthma
Male sex
Mother or other family member smoking at home
Crowded living conditions or many siblings at home
Attending day care/siblings in day care or school
References: 1. Piedimonte G, Perez MK. Respiratory syncytial virus infection and bronchiolitis. Pediatr Rev. 2014;35(12):519-530. doi:10.1542/pir.35-12-519 2. Goldstein M, Phillips R, DeVincenzo JP, et al. National Perinatal Association 2018 Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Prevention Clinical Practice Guideline: an evidence-based interdisciplinary collaboration. Neonatology Today. 2017;12:1-27. 3. Rossi GA, Colin AA. Infantile respiratory syncytial virus and human rhinovirus infections: respective role in inception and persistence of wheezing. Eur Respir J. 2015;45(3):774-789. doi:10.1183/09031936.00062714 4. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Vaccine Knowledge Project. November 22, 2019. Accessed April 2022. 5. Sommer C, Resch B, Simões EA. Risk factors for severe respiratory syncytial virus lower respiratory tract infection. Open Microbiol J. 2011;5(suppl2-M4):144-154. doi:10.2174/1874285801105010144 6. World Health Organization. Preterm birth. April 2022.

Date of Preparation: April 2022
Date of Expiry: April 2024
Approval Code: Z5-5300