What Symptoms Are Red Flags for RSV?

November 3, 2023

Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a potentially dangerous respiratory infection that can cause respiratory distress and other breathing issues. Caseloads tend to rise in the fall and winter months and peak alongside the flu.

While most adults will experience a very mild infection, older adults and young children can become really sick from RSV and may need to be hospitalized.

Our AFC Urgent Care Arden team understands the potential severity of RSV, so we explain more about the infection and what red flag warnings to look for that indicate a serious case.

How Can RSV Be Transmitted?

RSV is really contagious and can spread through populations quickly through airborne droplets from an uncovered cough or sneeze, or it can be spread through direct contact with an infected person. This is why so many providers and medical professionals will encourage you to limit who is allowed to kiss your newborn. A single kiss or a hug could lead to your baby getting really sick.

If you or your child does contract RSV, symptoms often start a few days after exposure and will resemble minor cold symptoms. While it may seem manageable and even a little annoying to deal with these symptoms, keep in mind that RSV can progress rapidly and a serious infection could set in.

4 Early Signs of RSV

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Trouble eating or drinking

Can RSV Be Cured Quickly?

Mild to moderate RSV infections just have to run their course. Since they are viral in nature, antibiotics won’t work against them and they will just have to battle it out with your immune system in order for you to feel better. You can certainly offer OTC fever reducers to help control any residual symptoms and encourage rest as much as possible.

While it is important to remember that most RSV cases stay mild or moderate, there is always the chance that your child experiences a severe infection. Any sort of respiratory distress or breathing troubles should prompt you to seek medical attention right away.

Warning Signs for RSV

  • Chest contractions
  • Bluish skin or fingernails
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing

RSV can be really dangerous. Come see us at AFC Urgent Care Arden if you are worried about your child’s symptoms.

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