RSV: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

October 23, 2023

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a highly contagious respiratory infection culprit. From infants to older adults, RSV can affect people of all ages, making it essential to understand this viral infection's causes, symptoms, and treatments. Whether you're a concerned parent, a healthcare professional, or an individual seeking to safeguard your health, this comprehensive guide will delve into the details of RSV. Learning about RSV keeps you many steps ahead of the virus when you are in a position to support yourself or anyone around you.

RSV Causes and Symptoms

Infamous for its impact on the respiratory system, RSV infects the lungs and respiratory passages, causing a spectrum of symptoms. For most people, RSV presents as a common cold, causing symptoms such as a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, and a mild fever. However, the virus can be much more severe, especially for vulnerable populations like infants and older adults.

In infants, RSV can lead to bronchiolitis and pneumonia, often accompanied by symptoms like rapid or troubled breathing, a high fever, severe cough, and wheezing. For older adults and individuals with weakened immune systems, RSV can also result in severe complications, making it crucial to recognize and address the virus promptly.

How to Prevent RSV

Preventing RSV is essential, especially for those at higher risk of severe complications. One of the most effective preventive measures is frequent handwashing and maintaining proper hygiene. Good respiratory hygiene, like covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, can also help reduce the spread of the virus. In healthcare settings, strict infection control measures are vital in preventing outbreaks.

For infants and young children, particularly those at higher risk, a monthly injection of palivizumab, a monoclonal antibody, can provide some protection during the RSV season. Pregnant women are advised to practice good hygiene, and caregivers of infants should also take extra precautions to minimize the risk of transmission.

When to Seek Testing & Treatment at Urgent Care

While many RSV cases resolve independently, it's essential to know when to seek testing and treatment, especially for those at higher risk. Infants and older adults with severe symptoms should receive immediate medical attention. Testing for RSV can be done through a simple nasal swab, which shows your status. If the test returns positive, healthcare providers can recommend various treatment options, including medications and supportive care.

If you or a loved one experiences symptoms of RSV, particularly severe respiratory distress or high fever, seek medical care AFC Urgent Care Cedar Grove. We can provide prompt evaluation and appropriate treatment. Our facility is equipped with the medical tools to diagnose and manage RSV and its associated complications, offering a valuable resource for those needing swift and effective care. Just walk-in!

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