RSV In Children And Adults: What You Should Know

December 4, 2022

Parent checking child for fever symptoms of RSV so that she can take her child to AFC Urgent Care Norwalk to get tested for RSV

RSV, or “respiratory syncytial virus” is a respiratory infection caused by the common cold virus that can affect both children and adults. It can be a potential threat for infants and young children as well as adults with weakened immune systems or those being treated for lung diseases like asthma or cystic fibrosis. The point is, it’s not a virus you want to catch this winter season. 

Currently, there is an outbreak of RSV in Connecticut and children’s hospitals are filling up. With that being said, many parents and families are concerned about their loved ones getting sick during the holiday season. AFC Urgent Care Norwalk is here to help you stay informed about RSV and what you should know so you can avoid it this winter.

What Are The Symptoms Of RSV?

The most common symptoms of RSV include but are not limited to:

  • a runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • difficulty breathing 
  • and a fever.  

As RSV causes inflammation in the lungs, you may experience shortness of breath, a loud whistling sound when breathing, and chest pain. In some cases, RSV can lead to onset of pneumonia. 


RSV pneumonia occurs most often in children younger than 6 months old and people with weakened immune systems. If your immune system is compromised, you might experience more severe symptoms from RSV such as difficulty feeding and difficulty breathing. In some cases, RSV can lead to bronchiolitis, which is an infection of the small airways in the lungs.


How Is RSV Diagnosed?

If your doctor suspects you have RSV, he or she will likely ask about your symptoms and perform a physical exam. Your doctor may also order a viral nasal swab to test for RSV. Just like doing COVID nasal swab test, it can help determine the amount of virus in your system. 


It is highly suggested to come in during the early stage of an infection to get the best results. Luckily for you, AFC Urgent Care Norwalk offers the RSV nasal swab test.


How Can I Prevent RSV This Holiday Season?

The best way to prevent RSV is to practice good hygiene and wash your hands often. If you’re around small children, it’s especially important to disinfect surfaces and wash your hands frequently. Keep your hands away from your face, and if you have a cough or fever, avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes to reduce the risk of transmitting germs to others. 


Adults can still contract RSV if they are around someone with the virus. It’s important to keep yourself and your family members healthy during RSV season. Stay home when you or your child has an infection.


Can You Treat RSV At-home?

Treatment for RSV is mostly focused on relieving symptoms as they appear. If your child has RSV, you might notice an increase in feeding as he or she tries to combat the illness by eating more often. If your child is less than 6 months old and has a mild case of RSV, treatment may not be necessary. 


However, if your infant has a moderate or severe case, they will most likely need more medical attention and to be seen right away! Difficulty breathing is one of the more symptoms to look out for.


AFC Urgent Care Norwalk Offers RSV Nasal Swabs For All Ages

When in doubt, get tested for RSV at AFC Urgent Care Norwalk. We offer a viral nasal swab test so you can have peace of mind this winter. You can easily walk-in or make an appointment online!

If you or your child has RSV, it’s important to remember that it’s a virus that everyone gets at some point in their life. However, it can be treated, especially in those with weakened immune systems or young children. If you’re around someone who has RSV, it’s important to stay away from small children and to wash your hands frequently. You can also disinfect certain surfaces to reduce the risk of spreading germs. 


Lastly, make sure you practice good hygiene at holiday parties. Be mindful of who you invite over as this may increase your risk or your loved ones risk of contracting RSV or something else. Although we hope not, AFC wishes everyone a healthy and safe holiday season!

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