OKC Doctors Working To Find Vaccine For RSV

Wednesday, February 25th 2015, 7:25 pm
By: News 9

It's a respiratory infection, common in infants, that causes sleepless nights for many families.

RSV has been described as a cold on steroids and there's little a parent and doctors can do.

The virus can effect an infant's breathing and cause them to wheeze.

Each year RSV sends 400 to 500 babies to OU Children's Hospital.

Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at OU Children's Hospital, Dr. Robert Welliver, is fighting RSV on two fronts.

First he's helping to developing a vaccine for moms that would be administered in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy.

It would protect a child during their first three months when RSV infections are most severe.

So far, that science is working. The maternal immunization could be standard care in two years. That would be great,” said Dr. Welliver.

He's also working on a vaccine for babies. Dr. Welliver said the development for that vaccine is taking longer than the vaccine for mothers, but there has been success.

“Not ten years, much faster than that,” said Dr. Welliver.

His research may also provide details on the long term health effects of a child who suffered from RSV when they were a baby.

“Even just looking at parents who are in distress and missing work and not sleeping because their child is in the hospital. It would be great to prevent all that,” said Dr, Welliver.