An Anderson family is grieving the loss of their newborn daughter after they say she contracted respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
The disease is common in younger people, but very dangerous in newborns, doctors said.
"She was a beautiful baby, she really was. She was born really healthy," said a tearful Jessica Thomas, who gave birth to Aziza Thomas Feb. 17.
She said Aziza was diagnosed with RSV four days later then died Monday, Feb. 24.
Dr. Stephen Jones at Parkside Pediatrics in Simpsonville said RSV looks like the common cold - congestion, coughing - then the breathing problems start. He said RSV is prevented in newborns by frequent washing of hands and minimal exposure to others.
"We see lots of RSV every winter," said Jones.
The Thomases said Aziza was undergoing routine tests at the hospital, when doctors said she had the disease. She had to be incubated when her temperature became too high. While being incubated, the Thomases said her temperature dropped too low. She died at just 7 days old.
The Thomases said they want to raise awareness for other parents, advising them to take extra care with their newborns, limiting exposure and allowing for frequent hand washing before handling them.
The Anderson County coroner is conducting an autopsy on the infant, and an official cause of death will be given Friday.
The family has funeral plans for March 8 and have set up an online fund for it here.
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