South African children are being struck down by a respiratory virus – here’s what parents need to know

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According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, as of March the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) had been detected in 19% of children younger than five. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/ Getty Images)
According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, as of March the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) had been detected in 19% of children younger than five. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/ Getty Images)

She could tell something was wrong. Her baby usually gulped down his milk with gusto, but now he just wasn’t interested in drinking and his chest sounded congested.

Carla Somerset-Attewell watched her 10-week-old son, Caleb, like a hawk all day, but when he still wasn’t feeding by evening she and her husband, Neil (34), decided they weren’t taking any chances and took him to casualty.

After examining him, doctors told the couple from Vereeniging, Gauteng, that there was nothing to worry about and sent them home with some saline and nose drops.

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