How to Prevent and Treat RSV in Children And Adults

December 4, 2022

Mother tending to her child because she is sick with the RSV virus

RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) is a common respiratory virus that can make anyone with a weak immune system or pre-existing lung conditions very ill. While RSV usually has no lasting effects, it can be especially dangerous for very young children and people 65 years of age and older. In these groups, RSV may cause serious complications like pneumonia or bronchiolitis (swollen airways in the lungs). 

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your child’s risk of contracting RSV. If you have an infant or child who is at high risk of contracting RSV, being aware of these prevention tips can help keep them safe from this dangerous virus. AFC Urgent Care Natick has created a guide around RSV because of the recent outbreak and children’s hospitals filling up with cases.

What is RSV?

RSV is a virus that can cause mild to severe infections, especially in the lungs and breathing passages. The virus is part of a group of diseases known as respiratory infections. Infections of the respiratory tract are the most common serious illness in infants and young children under age 2. 

 

There are two types of RSV - A and B. Type A is the most common and can occur year-round. Type B occurs most often in late fall and winter. RSV is spread through droplets when someone coughs or sneezes. RSV is a significant cause of hospitalization during winter months. 

 

How to prevent RSV in infants and children?

Since you can’t always prevent RSV, it’s important to know what to do if your infant or child becomes sick. Here are some preventive tips to help reduce complications from RSV in young children:

 

  • Wash your hands frequently 
  • Stay away from anyone who is sick 
  • Keep your baby away from cigarette smoke 
  • Visit your AFC Urgent Care Natick for a flu shot if you are at risk for infection.

 

What are the tests for RSV?

***At this time we do not offer the RSV nasal swab test.

 

If you think your child may have RSV, visiting your primary care for a test can help confirm a diagnosis. The doctor will likely do a physical exam and ask questions about your child’s symptoms, when they started and how long they have lasted. 

 

Most likely, your primary care will use a nasal swab test and might order a chest X-ray to determine the diagnosis.

 

AFC Urgent Care Natick Can Help Your Family Stay Healthy This Season!

The best way to prevent RSV infection is to get vaccinated for the flu and other illnesses, wash your hands frequently, stay away from anyone who is sick and keep your baby away from cigarette smoke. 

 

AFC Urgent Care Natick offers the quadrivalent flu shot and flu shots for seniors! We also offer COVID testing 7 days a week. You can walk-in or make an appointment online!

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