A Dublin mum is urging people not to kiss babies after her little boy Koby went from a healthy happy boy to needing oxygen to help him breathe after developing Respiratory Syncytial Virus (VSR).
Having watched her little boy spend five days in isolation in Temple Street hospital after contracting the deadly virus, Zoe McGlade is using her voice on social media to stress the importance of not kissing babies and washing your hands before holding infants.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus is a virus that causes cold-like symptoms but can potentially dangerous for infants and the elderly.
"Can I just stress to everyone that when a mom/dad tells you not to kiss their baby or to wash your hands before holding them JUST DO WHAT YOU'RE ASKED instead of mocking or calling us ‘overprotective’," she said.
"We went from this video to the picture in a matter of HOURS and now my poor baby is in isolation with oxygen to help him breathe and feeding tubes down him!"
"A little cough or runny nose that you might think is nothing can literally be DEADLY to a baby as small as my boy. We’re lucky we came to the hospital when we did."
"I can't wait to have my smiley baby back with me, say a prayer for us please," she added.
In a bid to raise more awareness about the illness and how it can be prevented, Zoe joined Dr Ciara Martin a consultant in paediatric emergency medicine on Ireland AM to share her story.
Speaking live McGlade said she first noticed 4-month-old Koby was unwell having developed a mild cough. Originally she took him to the doctor, who initially dismissed the symptoms. When the cough developed further, she returned and he was diagnosed with a chest infection and prescribed antibiotics.
After a few days, she discovered her little boy was struggling to breathe and rushed Koby into Temple Street.
"We went in through triage and they didn't even let us go back out into the waiting room," she said.
"They brought us straight in the back of the hospital, put us on a bed and started putting oxygen tubes and feeding tubes on him."
"His oxygen levels had dipped to 71 and anything below 94 is dangerous."
"That's when I was looking at him and I was saying it was a lot more serious than I thought it was."
Doctors told McGlade that had she waited a few more hours before bringing Koby to the hospital, it could have been a very different situation.
According to the HSE, "Transmission of the highly contagious RSV occurs through contact with aerosolized viral particles generated through sneezing and coughing, or from contaminated surfaces or fomites."
"Large-particle droplets can survive on contaminated surfaces for up to 6 hours, making handwashing the most effective infection control procedure."
"Infected individuals shed RSV for 3 to 8 days but immunocompromised patients with severe infection may shed virus for up to 4 weeks."
"The frequent occurrence of mild or asymptomatic infection in otherwise healthy individuals makes infection control challenging."