RSV is a respiratory infection that causes the lining of the lungs to swell and become inflamed. It’s very common for children, especially infants, too young to be vaccinated against it.
RSV may cause symptoms like fever, cough, and runny nose; however, it can also lead to pneumonia if left untreated. In children younger than one-year-old, RSV is responsible for half of all hospitalizations due to viral infections worldwide each year —and two out of three deaths caused by these viruses occur in this age group!
Yes, RSV is contagious and can spread by touching a contaminated object or coughing and sneezing. The respiratory syncytial virus can also spread through dried respiratory droplets on bedding and similar items.
Fortunately, there are ways you can protect yourself from getting sick when someone else in your family has RSV with proper hygiene.
A runny nose can be a result of the virus or the cold that the virus causes. Runny noses may also result from a sinus infection, allergies, or infections in your child’s throat. If your baby’s runny nose doesn’t clear up within a few days, seek emergency care.
Fever is a normal reaction to infection, and while it can be painful and uncomfortable, it’s not dangerous. Fever can be a symptom of RSV or other illnesses like strep throat.
Visit the doctor for further testing if they have had a fever for three days or more. Your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics for you (if necessary) and monitor your baby closely until she recovers.
Apnea is when breathing pauses for 20 seconds or longer and can occur at any age. The most common apnea episodes are 10 seconds long and less frequent than 5-second ones.
A cough is a tight, dry, short-lived spasm in the airway that causes breathlessness. It’s often accompanied by mucus production and sometimes fever.
If your baby has been coughing for more than one day and has other symptoms like red eyes or vomiting, it could indicate something else and requires further investigation, so visit an ER near you as soon as possible.
Wheezing is a whistling sound in the chest caused by allergies or infections. It’s also common among babies with RSV, so it’s important to monitor your child and seek treatment if you’re worried about wheezing.
If your baby has been diagnosed with RSV, you’ll want to keep him home from daycare or stay at home until he’s symptom-free for 24 hours after each episode of acute respiratory illness (ARIs). This will allow the body time to recover.
If you have a cold, avoid contact with other people. Likewise, keep your baby away from sick people, especially if they are under six months old. Give plenty of fluids through breastfeeding. Use humidifiers throughout rooms where babies spend time during respiratory infections. Also, protect them against the smoke that can worsen the situation.
Regarding RSV, knowing the difference between a cold and an illness is important. If your baby has a runny nose, sneezing, and mild fever (100.4 degrees or higher), they are probably just suffering from a runny-nosed cold (also called rhinosinusitis). However, if their symptoms get worse—if they have difficulty breathing or coughing up mucus—they may have RSV bronchiolitis (a more severe form of RSV).
Visit an Emergency room in Harker Heights, TX, if you notice:
Visit Express Emergency Room Harker Heights for more information about RSV, its causes, and how to prevent it.