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What is Respiratory Syncytial Virus?
sick little girl

What is Respiratory Syncytial Virus?

What to Do When Your Child Has Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

When your little one becomes sick, knowing what to do to help comfort them is crucial. Here are some tips on what to do if your child becomes sick with RSV.

What is RSV?

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a condition that is most common in small children but can also affect older adults as well. In fact, it is so common that most children have been infected with the virus by age 2.

The virus enters the body through the nose and mouth and causes an infection in the lungs and respiratory tract. It is common for children who attend in-person schooling and childcare to come down with RSV, as it is highly transmissible.

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms are typically mild, and often mimic that of a common cold which makes it difficult for parents to know what’s wrong. Mild symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever

Risk Factors

Although symptoms tend to go away on their own and are minor, there are a few groups of patients who are at an increased risk of developing severe symptoms. These include those who:

  • Have asthma.
  • Premature infants and infants younger than 6 months old.
  • Have congenital heart disease.
  • Have a weakened immune system.
  • Have neuromuscular disorders.

Having RSV can lower your child’s immunity, leaving them exposed to contract other viral diseases, and can cause more severe infections. In fact, RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children younger than 1 year of age. If your little one is sick, be sure to bring them to the doctor as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.

Emergency Symptoms of RSV

Patients who are at a higher risk of severe RSV symptoms or those who have experienced complications may require emergency medical treatment and possible hospitalization. If your child displays any of these symptoms, you should bring them to an emergency center right away:

  • Repetitive RSV infections.
  • Middle ear infection.
  • Symptoms of pneumonia.
  • Blue lips or fingernails.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Difficulty breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
  • Deep and frequent coughing.

Pediatric Emergency Services in Longview, Nacogdoches, and Odessa

If your child is showing emergency signs of illness, don’t delay to get them the care they need. Contact Excel ER at (903) 500-7321, or stop into or one of our locations in Longview, Nacogdoches, and Odessa today.



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