RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)

09 July 2021

Whānau, there's a lot of attention on RSV so let's kōrero about what you need to know about keeping your pēpi and kaumātua safe this takurua (winter).

RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)

At home and in the community

It's not just RSV to be careful of – there are lots of viruses around and we all need to take extra steps to be safe.

Most at risk are pēpi under 3 months and those who were premature and, of course, our kaumātua.

All viruses are contagious therefore we need to do what we did for COVID-19. This means:
- Good hand hygiene
- Sneezing/coughing into the elbow.

When you're sick:
- Stay home including from kura and Kōhanga Reo
- Avoid large gatherings with our whānau
- Ensure a warm home
- Keep passive smoking away from our tamariki
- Increase their fluids and regular pamol for temperatures and comfort.

Please especially look out for:
- Increased respiratory (breathing) effort
- Less oral intake (not eating/drinking enough)
- Lethargy (abnormally drowsy).

If your pēpi have these symptoms, call your G.P. practice or Healthline (0800 611 116) for advice.

In the hospital

A lot of our pēpi coming into hospital are sick with RSV. To protect them, we’ve put some extra steps in place that we need you to follow:

- Please don’t bring siblings into the hospital to see sick pēpi
Other tamariki can have viruses without it being obvious, so without knowing it they can bring viruses into the hospital and make their siblings and other tamariki sick.

- We can only have two caregivers in the ward with a pēpi at any one time
More than two can visit, but only two at a time. Please don’t come in if you’re sick.

- When you are in the corridor of our children’s ward, please wear masks
You can carry the RSV that your pēpi has with you and that might mean that other pēpi get sick. A mask helps to prevent that.
We have Pou Kōkiri who can help you and your whānau if you need karakia, want someone to talk to or need someone to help you understand what is happening.


Links with more information:

Understanding Respiratory Syncytial Virus (asthmafoundation.org.nz)

https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/health-a-z/r/respiratory-syncytial-virus-rsv-infection/