When it comes to preventing RSV, encourage your family to follow these must-dos:
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water (or hand sanitizer).
- Try not to touch your face.
- Avoid close contact, like kissing and sharing cups and utensils, with people who are sick.
- Always cover your coughs and sneezes. When you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are touched often, including toys, doorknobs, countertops and electronics.
- Stay home when you aren’t feeling well.
Now, families have access to more protection than ever before. While there is currently no RSV vaccine for children, this year the first RSV vaccine for expectant moms was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This vaccine is given from 32 through 36 weeks of pregnancy to prevent lower respiratory tract disease (LRTD) caused by RSV in infants from birth through 6 months of age.
Also, for children under age 2 who are more vulnerable to RSV illness, a preventive monoclonal antibody treatment called Nirsevimab became available as well. (This is not an RSV vaccine.) Talk to your child's pediatrician or primary care clinician for guidance on whether your child would benefit from this treatment.