Monday, May 3, 2010

RSV Letter

Dear Family and Friends:
We’re writing regarding a very important matter: RSV. We want to start by saying thank you for the outpouring of support we have received from everyone. So many people have done so much for us, and every bit of help we have received truly is appreciated. We are experiencing the biggest challenge of our lives, and we’re lucky to be surrounded by so many family members and friends who have shown us so much love and support.
Most people have not heard of RSV. Babies born earlier than 36 weeks are at the highest risk for serious complications like pneumonia, bronchiolitis, and other sometimes fatal complications. Our babies were born premature, are multiples, and had low birth weights; these are among the highest risk factors for contracting RSV and developing serious complications.
Preventing the spread of RSV is very difficult. Thus, we must be vigilant about keeping our babies safe during RSV season (October through April). The virus is spread through physical contact, in the air via a cough or sneeze, or by touching an infected object. The virus can live as long as six hours on hands and up to twelve hours on objects.

We ask that all visitors do the following:
1. When you arrive, please wash your hands, use hand-sanitizer as needed before touching the babies and put on a hospital robe.
2. Please, if it is possible, get a flu shot.
3. Please refrain from coming over if you are currently sick and have not been symptom-free for at least 5 days, if you live with someone who is sick, or have been in close contact with someone who is sick.
4. If you smoke, we ask that you change your clothes and shower and refrain from smoking prior to visiting, as a preemie’s lungs are very sensitive to smoke. Most RSV sites recommend against passive smoke exposure.
5. If you are parents to babies, toddlers or school-aged children, refrain from bringing them to our house during RSV season. age 20 and older can visit us.
Unfortunately we will not be attending many events during RSV season. Our goal is to make it through this and the next RSV seasons without the babies contracting RSV or any other serious illness. Their lungs are still very fragile until they are 2-years-old.

Please understand that this letter is not meant to offend anyone, just simply to provide an explanation. We hope you understand, and we appreciate your help keeping our babies safe.
Love and best wishes to all!
Michael and Amber
Anthony, Michael, Jaileigh, and Jakob

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