Media release

AMA President: ‘I nearly lost my toddler to RSV’

AMA President Professor Steve Robson reveals his family’s brush with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), during RSV Awareness Week.

Professor Steve Robson

This week marks RSV Awareness Week and for me it is personal. 

I almost lost my son when he was a toddler and to this day it is still hard for me to talk about. 

He was extremely ill and spent close to two weeks in hospital, much of that time in the paediatric high dependency unit.  His recovery took a long time.

Fortunately my son now is a robust healthy young man – but nearly losing him was extremely distressing and I know that many families around the country have had similar experiences to ours.

I want to share my story to help put the spotlight on an unpredictable and potentially dangerous virus that puts thousands of infants in hospital each year and can cause serious long-term health issues.

I want every Australian to think about RSV and if you think your family members are vulnerable make sure you talk to your doctor and find out what you can do to protect them.

I don’t want other Australian families to go through this, either with infants, children or with older family members.

We know that there are potentially ways to reduce this risk including through vaccination in children and older Australians. If your family members need protection, see your GP.

I urge you to not put yourself through what my family went through, you can talk to your GP about what you can do to protect yourself.

RSV Awareness Week 2024 runs from 2–8 June. The Immunisation Foundation of Australia is calling on Australians from all walks of life to share why they support protection against severe RSV-related illness. 

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