‘That was terrifying,’ Las Vegas mom shares experience with her baby having RSV

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 8:40 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - It’s being declared a national emergency by pediatric healthcare provider groups. Seasonal flu, RSV, and other respiratory viruses are hitting young children hard this year.

Sloane Rivera, who is just two months old, spent a week in the pediatric ICU with an RSV infection. Her mother, Elly Rivera, says she first noticed her daughter with congestion.

“I could just tell she was having trouble breathing, it was hard for her, looked like she was laboring, I noticed some retracting on her side, so I just said, you know what, I’m freaking out a little bit,” Rivera said.

She immediately took her to University Medical Center.

“That was terrifying,” she said. “They had taken her back to the ER, they were trying to find a vein for an IV, taking her onesie off, it was like a movie scene, like a horror film.”

She was told by doctors that Sloane had tested positive for RSV and spent a week getting oxygen treatment.

“Once they started the antibiotic I noticed a big difference, she started to get a lot better, and they started to wean the oxygen levels that they were giving her for support down,” Rivera said.

Sloane is one of up to 80,000 children under the age of 5 that are hospitalized every year with RSV infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I was at peace that I actually listened to my gut and went to the hospital, but it was heartbreaking to know that something is actually wrong,” she added.

Scientists believe the pandemic “immunity gap” may be to blame.

Symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Wheezing

Rivera says one of her two boys was also sick at the time and could’ve gotten the virus from school.

“We feel like we are very prepared and then to still get hit with something and end up in the hospital, it is really, really tough.”

Sloane still has a mild cough but is expected to make a full recovery.

“Very relieved that we are home,” Rivera said.

There is no specific treatment for RSV, but researchers are working to develop a vaccine.