CommunityHealth Fix


Keeping your children healthy and safe—What you need to know about RSV

Posted at 2:59 PM, Dec 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-22 16:59:26-05

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an infection that spreads and attacks the nose, eyes, throat, and lungs much like a cold virus. RSV is very common among children, very contagious, and the symptoms are similar to a cold. In most cases, RSV clears up on its own; however, it can cause pneumonia or bronchiolitis, especially in infants.

What are the symptoms of RSV?

  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Earache
  • Fever

Symptoms of RSV in infants

  • Wheezing
  • Decreased appetite
  • Low energy
  • Decreased interest in surrounds
  • Fussiness or crankiness

If your child becomes wheezy, has trouble breathing or is drinking less than half her usual liquid intake, seek medical attention. RSV can be severe and lead to pneumonia, so it is important to receive proper medical treatment.

Treatment of RSV

  • Home treatment to ease symptoms
    • Watch for signs of dehydration
    • Replace fluids
    • Make child as comfortable as possible
    • OTC pain medication (consult with pediatrician)
  • Nasal suction
  • Bronchodilators as a trial or if there is a strong family history of asthma
  • Hospital stay to monitor condition