Megan Smith was especially conscious of the threat COVID posed to her six-week-old daughter in October 2021. The now 36-year-old from Buffalo, N.Y., was “doing everything we could to protect her,” Smith says. Ultimately, though, it wasn’t COVID that sent her baby to the hospital but a more mundane virus that infects nearly everyone by their second birthday: respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
Smith’s daughter required hospitalization and intubation from this respiratory virus, which infects the nose, throat, lungs and breathing passages. “I was not prepared for this in any sort of way,” says Smith, who was startled to learn no treatments for RSV exist besides supportive care and oxygen. Her daughter recovered, but Smith was left wishing a vaccine could have saved her that stress and heartache.