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Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a respiratory virus that affects nearly all children by the time they’re two years old. The virus can cause mild symptoms similar to the common cold. Recently, cases of RSV have begun to spike in our communities. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms and risk-factors associated with RSV, so you and your family can stay healthy throughout the year. RSV is contagious and can cause severe symptoms for those with weakened immune systems. Continue reading to learn about the signs and symptoms of RSV and how to prevent the virus from spreading in your community. Visit FirstCall Medical Center for quality family care, no appointment necessary.

What are the signs and symptoms of RSV?

For mild to moderate cases of RSV, the symptoms can feel very similar to a common cold. For healthy children and adults, RSV infections are not life-threatening and can typically be treated at home. However, some people may experience more severe infections depending on their age and medical history. It’s difficult to distinguish RSV without professional medical attention. At FirstCall Medical Center, we are able to diagnose symptoms of RSV through on-site lab testing.

Common symptoms of RSV include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Fever
  • Wheezing
  • Decrease in appetite

What groups of people are at a high-risk for RSV complications?

As previously mentioned, some groups of people are at a higher risk for severe RSV infections that can potentially lead to complications and hospitalization. Infants with compromised immune systems, elderly people, and people with underlying chronic medical conditions are more inclined to experience severe RSV infections. Complications include bronchiolitis ( an inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (an infection of the lungs). The virus can affect people of any age but causes the most problems for the very young and very old.

How is RSV diagnosed and treated?

If you have any concern that you’ve contracted RSV, you can visit an urgent care center to receive testing and diagnosis. The virus can spread from person to person through close contact with someone who is diagnosed, or through droplets in the air. RSV spreads via coughing and sneezing. You can also be infected by touching objects that are contaminated with the virus.┬áThe illness normally lasts up to a week, but infants can be contagious for longer periods of time. Mild to moderate cases of RSV is typically treated with at-home rest, fluids, and over the counter pain relivers. Sometimes, RSV can cause bacterial infections- including bacterial pneumonia or ear infections. In this case, antibiotics may be prescribed as a part of your treatment. If you need RSV diagnosis or treatment, visit us at FirstCall Medical Center for comprehensive urgent care.