How to Prevent and Treat RSV in Children And Adults

December 4, 2022

AFC Urgent Care Marlborough

Mother checking her daughters temperature after finding out she has a fever from RSV

RSV stands for respiratory syncytial virus that can affect your respiratory tract. It poses the greatest risk to infants and children under 5 years old, as their immune systems are still developing. But, it can also affect adults, too, especially seniors or those who are immunocompromised. 

Thankfully, there are ways you can help reduce your child's or loved one's risk of contracting RSV. AFC Urgent Care Marlborough has created a guide on RSV in light of the recent outbreak of cases of it throughout the U.S We hope that you can learn how to prevent RSV, and what to do if you or your child gets it.

What Is RSV And How do I know if I have it?

RSV is a common virus that can infect the lungs and breathing passages. Most people usually get mild cases of RSV and will usually get better on their own. But for some people, especially infants, it can be very serious. 

Symptoms of RSV in babies include: 

  • Breathing problems can lead to hospitalization and even death.
  • Neurological problems like lethargy, irritability, or poor feeding. 
  • A high-pitched cry or grunting and wheezing 
  • Swollen or cracked spines
  • Mouth or nasal drooling

RSV Prevention in infants and children

RSV prevention starts with washing your hands often. Always cover your cough and wash your hands after touching soiled items. You can also use alcohol-based hand sanitizers as a second line of defense against germs.

Caregivers should also avoid close contact with infants if they are sick. If your child develops symptoms, try to keep them hydrated and keep the environment clean.

As for adults with RSV, you should also be practicing the necessary health and safety precautions to avoid it. If you have asthma, you should stock up on inhalers. If you’re sick, stay home from work, or avoid going to that family gathering or party where you can expose others to what you may have.

How to treat your RSV at-home

There are some at-home remedies for treating RSV. Here are some of the best ones: 

  • Try careful positioning to relieve nasal congestion - While you might want to offer your infant a warm, steamy shower or a warm towel, it is actually best to avoid these techniques. That’s because infants with RSV are already at risk of developing pneumonia—and the blowing of warm, humid air from a shower or hot towel can increase that risk. Instead, try gently tilting your child’s head up, being careful not to put too much pressure on their neck. 
  • Give your child plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration - As your child’s immune system fights off the virus, he or she may lose fluids. And it’s important to replace them to avoid dehydration. 
  • Create a clean environment - RSV is highly contagious, so it’s important to take extra care while your child is sick. Wash your child’s toys and blankets frequently, and try to keep your child away from other children when they have a fever, as this can lead to complications.
  • Continue to wear a mask around your child or loved one to prevent spreading RSV

AFC Urgent Care Marlborough Hopes You Feel Better!

When it comes to protecting your family from infection, it’s important to start as soon as you know one of you has been exposed to the virus. Be vigilant about handwashing, covering your coughs, and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces like doorknobs and tables. If you know someone who has an infant or toddler, share these RSV prevention tips to help keep them healthy and happy.

If you need immediate urgent care or maybe what you or your child has is not RSV, then come in for testing for other respiratory illnesses. We offer COVID testing 7 days a week and we also offer the quadrivalent flu vaccine and flu shots for seniors, too!

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