Respiratory Synncytial Virus (RSV) is a major cause of respiratory illness in young children. The virus infects the lungs and breathing passages. The symptoms of RSV might have those that are similar to a cold such as congestion, mild headache, cough, fever or a general ill feeling. The type and severity of symptoms depends on multiple factors, including the particular strain of the virus and whether the patient has other underlying medical problems.
RSV is very contagious. The virus spreads through coughing or sneezing. It can also live on surfaces and on clothing and hands. RSV can spread quickly through schools and childcare centers. Babies often get it when older kids carry the virus home from school. Almost all kids have had it by the time they are 2 years old. Infants are most severely affect by RSV as they may struggle to breathe, have poor feeding and have a severe cough with wheezing.
RSV can cause severe infection in some people, especially premature babies, older adults, infants and adults with heart and lung disease or anyone with a very weak immune system. RSV can spread to the lower respiratory tract, causing pneumonia or bronchiolitis.
It is time to see the doctor if your child develops a high fever, has thick nasal discharge, has a cough that produces mucus, shows signs of dehydration. Seek medical help right away if your child has trouble breathing or is breathing very rapidly, is drowsy or has lips or fingernails that look blue.
My Emergency Room is available from 24/7 every day of the week. Walk in patients are welcomed. If there is concern that your child might have developed RSV, getting treated quickly can help minimize spreading the virus to others as well as start helping your child feel better quicker.