What Is RSV, And How Do You Know If Your Child Has It?

December 3, 2022

Mother checking her son’s temperature to see if he has RSV

In recent news, there has been a surge in RSV, aka Respiratory Syncytial Virus cases in children throughout the U.S,  causing concern in the Southington communities, for both children as well as adults. Since children have a weaker and undeveloped immune system than adults, it raises the alarm because RSV can potentially be dangerous if left ignored. Although there is no cure for it, it is important to recognize the signs, symptoms and testing options for RSV so you can be prepared to get your child the right care should they begin displaying symptoms.

AFC Urgent Care Southington has created a guide on what RSV is and how to know if your child has it.

What is Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)?

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a respiratory infection that can cause wheezing in young infants, and serious complications in older patients, such as pneumonia and/or bronchialitis. RSV is very contagious, spread through contact with nasal secretions or mucus from an infected person. It can also be passed from person to person by sneezing or coughing. 

RSV infections are more common in children under 6 months old and typically peak in late winter and spring.

Risk factors for RSV include:

  • Children and especially infants younger than six months old who spend time in close quarters with an infected child
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • People who live in crowded conditions (e.g., dormitories, nursing homes)

What are the symptoms of RSV?

Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus that can cause severe respiratory illness in infants and young children. Symptoms of RSV in children include:

  • Cold like symptoms
  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing

If your child has any of these symptoms, it's important to seek medical attention right away. RSV can be serious, especially for infants and young children, so it's important to get them treated as soon as possible.

Is There A Test For RSV?

The CDC recommends that all babies be tested between 6 and 12 months of age if they are living in an area with high rates of RSV infection, have spent time in a hospital in the past year, or have been recently vaccinated against the flu. All babies under the age of two months should be tested at least twice a year. 

Luckily for you, AFC Urgent Care Southington offers the nasal swab test for RSV.

How To Protect Against RSV This Winter?

Plan ahead and stock up on OTC medication this winter. If you’re planning a holiday gathering, make sure to avoid the spread of unwanted illnesses by checking in with each guest to see if they’re sick or not. The CDC always recommends frequent hand washing to avoid the spread of germs. Lastly, make sure you stay home if you are sick and avoid going out or to holiday parties if you are sick. 

Remember, it’s not about you. Think of your loved ones, both young and older, and get tested to have peace of mind.

Get Tested For RSV at AFC Urgent Care Southington

RSV is another winter illness to worry about this winter, yes, on top of COVID and flu- this year's Viral Trifecta! Don’t ignore the symptoms or warning signs as it can potentially be fatal for your child.

AFC Urgent Care in Southington offers nasal swab tests for RSV and can also help with COVID-19 testing and flu shots. Our doors are open 7 days a week and you can walk-in or make an appointment anytime!

We hope you enjoy the winter holidays and avoid getting sick!

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