As Montana Shortland's son Griffin giggles and hiccups from his rocker, he looks like a healthy newborn baby.

But a month ago, things looked very different. Ms Shortland thought Griffin "would not be coming home" after what seemed like a common cold saw him airlifted for specialist intensive care.

"I didn't sleep at all. I didn't eat," she said.

"I was so scared if I took my eyes off him for one second, he may be dead."

Now 10 weeks old, Griffin still has a lingering cough but has otherwise recovered from a serious bout of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

The virus is common among children. According to Queensland Health, most children will catch RSV at least once before they turn two.

The symptoms of RSV, COVID-19 and influenza (the flu) can all overlap and health officials are warning that this year's wave of winter respiratory illnesses may be the worst in several years.

Baby Griffin deteriorated rapidly while in Rockhampton Hospital and was airlifted to the Sunshine Coast.()

Life-threatening virus

Ms Shortland believes Griffin may have caught RSV from his 18-month-old brother Archer who attends day care.

She said Griffin, then six weeks old, went from having a runny nose one day to "gasping for air" the next.

He was admitted to Rockhampton Hospital where laboratory tests confirmed RSV.

"The ED doctor told me that if I hadn't brought him in when I did, I could very possibly have woken up with a baby that wasn't breathing the next morning," Ms Shortland said.

Source link