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AFC West Chester
RSV and Respiratory Infections

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RSV Testing & Treatment at AFC Urgent Care West Chester

AFC Urgent Care West Chester can provide you and your family with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) testing and treatment. RSV is a respiratory viral infection that causes cold-like symptoms. While the virus is most common in children, it can also be passed on to adults. In most cases, the virus clears up within 1-2 weeks, although it can lead to more severe conditions such as pneumonia -- particularly in infants and older adults.

What is RSV or Respiratory Syncytial Virus?

Unlike COVID-19, RSV has been around for decades and was first identified in the 1950s. It is a common cause of illness in children, and most have been infected by RSV by age 2. Symptoms are generally similar to the common cold. However, infants, older adults, and those with compromised immune systems can see RSV spread into the lower respiratory tract. This, in turn, can cause pneumonia or bronchiolitis. Over 50,000 children are hospitalized yearly with RSV, although deaths due to RSV are uncommon. Those 65 or over have seen RSV cause to over 170,00 hospitalizations and over 12,000 deaths annually. Since RVS shares many symptoms with other viral infections, testing is needed to diagnose it so proper treatment can be prescribed.

Why are more people now talking about RSV if people had known about it in the 1950s?

The prevalence of RSV decreased tremendously during the preventative health measures and lockdowns during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, when those measures were lifted, it rebounded significantly, as did influenza, causing a sharp increase in hospitalizations. As such, more of the general public became aware of this specific viral infection.

What are the symptoms of RSV?

Someone exposed to RSV will generally show symptoms in four to six days. Typically, symptoms build gradually and can include:

  • Dry cough
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Fever (although not all children will get a fever)
  • Wheezing
  • Headache

Young infants with RSV may only show symptoms that include the following:

  • Decreased activity
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Irritability

Who is at the highest risk for an RSV infection?

Most people who suffer an RSV infection will recover within two weeks, if not sooner. However, some people can have complications and develop pneumonia or bronchiolitis, which can result in hospitalization. Older adults and infants are more susceptible to these complications and to have a more severe RSV infection. Infants younger than six months are at higher risk because their bodies are not strong enough to clear mucus from their nasal passages, making breathing, drinking, and eating difficult. This is especially pronounced in infants who are born prematurely.

Older adults (those over 65) are at risk because their immune systems are weaker than when they were younger. Other adults can be at higher risk for complications if they have a weakened immune system, have a neuromuscular disorder, or suffer from lung or heart disease. RSV can also exacerbate other chronic conditions, like those with asthma.

How does someone prevent an RSV infection?

Recently, the CDC has approved an RSV vaccine. The availability of this vaccine is limited and may not currently be in stock at AFC Urgent Care West Chester. Please call ahead to check. To prevent an infection, someone should follow the same guidelines they would to avoid the flu or a common cold:

  • Wash your hands
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Disinfect surfaces, including toys

Also, it helps to avoid people if you are feeling a little under the weather. This behavior will help stop the spread of the virus to friends and family. While you may only be suffering minor or annoying symptoms from an RSV infection, you could expose someone at higher risk. The best course of action is to get checked out at AFC Urgent Care West Chester and be diagnosed by one of our experienced providers. Our providers will be able to determine through an examination and possible diagnostic testing if you are suffering from an RSV infection.

Questions? Call our friendly staff today at (484) 999-0204 for additional service.

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  • Why Choose American Family Care?

    With state-of-the-art centers and a professional medical team, AFC provides on-site X-rays, labs, procedures, and more!

  • What's the Difference Between Urgent Care and Emergency Room Services?

    Urgent care is for medical conditions that require prompt attention but do not pose an immediate threat to your health or life. Here is a simple rule of thumb: if your medical issues(s) are life threatening, call 911, or go directly to a hospital emergency room. If not, an urgent care center such as AFC is an excellent alternative.

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