RSV is an infection of the upper respiratory tract and the lungs. It is extremely common in young children, but adults and older children can also catch RSV. While it is a very manageable illness, there are no specific treatment options or vaccines to stop it. AFC Urgent Care Vernon has information regarding symptoms and treatment options if you think your little one may be sick with RSV.
Symptoms of RSV in Babies
Older children and adults do not have severe symptoms if they catch RSV. These symptoms typically mimic that of the common cold and will resolve themselves within a few days to a week. However, in severe cases, the virus can spread to the lower respiratory tract and cause pneumonia or bronchitis. This can cause a combination of fever, severe cough, and wheezing while exhaling. In infants, symptoms can be more severe since their lungs are smaller. Symptoms can include:
- Shallow, rapid breathing
- Chest muscles and skin pulling inward while breathing (difficulty breathing)
Premature infants have a higher risk of severe symptoms and complications. Always monitor the severity of symptoms for any illness. RSV is most common during flu season, and children that attend childcare centers are more likely to get the virus. It is caused by direct contact with others and others who are infected sneezing and coughing around you.
Complications & Treatment
In addition to premature infants, babies with heart or lung conditions or weakened immune systems are at higher risk of developing complications. Older adults, those with asthma, or individuals with immunodeficiency disorders can also be at risk. Complications can include
- Hospitalization to monitor breathing
- Asthma – caused later in life by severe symptoms
While there is no vaccine for RSV, for babies born before 29 weeks, there is a recommended medication to take. Learn more about the medicines here. The best at-home treatment for RSV in babies is getting plenty of fluids and using a humidifier while sleeping or in daily use. Moist air can help alleviate the cough and break up mucus. When meeting with a physician, be sure to keep track of all symptoms and when they started. Let your doctor know of any unusual behavior, even if it is not related to RSV.