When Is RSV Dangerous?

November 2, 2023

Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is an upper respiratory infection that can affect your child’s ability to breathe normally. Most otherwise healthy adults will experience mild symptoms from RSV, but it can be especially dangerous for kids.

Our AFC Urgent Care Chattanooga team understands how serious RSV can be, so we want to arm you with the knowledge you need to help your entire family stay safe and healthy. Read on to learn more about RSV and what to expect.

Is RSV Contagious?

Yes! RSV is an incredibly contagious viral infection that can spread through densely populated areas quickly. It can be transmitted through airborne droplets from an uncovered cough or sneeze, or it can be spread through direct contact from person to person. This is why we recommend limiting who is allowed to kiss and cuddle your newborn or infant during the fall and winter seasons.

A single kiss on your baby’s face could lead to a serious or severe RSV infection. While RSV starts out with minor cold symptoms, it can easily progress into more symptoms that center around your child’s respiratory system and can cause breathing troubles.

RSV Signs in the Early Stages

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

Can RSV Be Cured?

Since RSV is a viral infection, it has to run its course through your child’s body. There is unfortunately no quick fix and antibiotics do not work against a virus, so treatment often centers around symptom management. If your child is experiencing mild symptoms, simply monitor his or her condition and encourage rest and hydration as much as possible.

While it is important to note that most RSV cases don’t progress to a serious or severe state, there is always the chance that your child ends up having a harder time overcoming the illness. Any sort of respiratory distress should be considered a medical emergency and you should seek immediate medical attention.

RSV Symptoms That Warrant Medical Attention

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

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

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