10 things every parent should know about RSV

10 things every parent should know about RSV

January 1, 2023

RSV is a short form of the respiratory syncytial virus. It is commonly referred to as the common cold in adults and older kids. Symptoms such as a reduced appetite for several days and a runny nose often start mild, leading to coughing and wheezing.

Common symptoms of the reverse syncytial virus include;

  • Clear, runny nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Sneezing

In infants, the symptoms may include decreased activity, difficulty breathing, and irritability. In some cases, your child may have a fever. Adults and some older children are over the illness in less than two weeks. For infants, it usually has serious health implications, particularly the ones that are premature or have secondary health conditions.

If you or your kid develops this condition, you can seek immediate treatment near you or visit an emergency room near you. Fairfield Emergency Room offers emergency RSV treatment in Cypress, TX. They have board certified ER doctors who will be able to prescribe a course of treatment to help you feel better.

Ten things a parent should know about RSV

    • RSV is highly contagious

RSV spreads very fast. It spreads through cough droplets when someone with the virus sneezes or coughs. Furthermore, it stays alive on surfaces (desks, tables, shelves, hands, countertops, toys, doorknobs, and other characters) for a couple of hours. It is, therefore, effortless to spread when an infant or a person touches the surface with the virus.

    • RSV is a leading cause of respiratory illness in children

For babies and young children, RSV infection only causes a cold. However, it’s a different case for premature babies and infants with underlying conditions or weaker immune systems. A good number of these at-risk children can quickly develop bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airway of the lungs) or pneumonia, which, if not treated urgently, becomes life-threatening.

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    • RSV infections occur mostly during winter
  • RSV infections are severe during winter months when it’s freezing. A condition should only last for one week. However, they usually last for several weeks, especially during winter. It usually spreads faster through childcare centers and schools. Statistics suggest every child has been infected with RSV at least once before they get to the age of two.

      • Infections mostly flow from adults to children.

    Parents should remember that, in most cases, infections get to the children through the adults. Since the symptoms of RSV resemble a common cold – headache, runny nose, sore throat, cough, and sometimes a fever – they usually get infected, become contagious, and inadvertently pass the virus through close contact.

      • No medication for RSV

    Since RSV is not a bacterial infection, it has no cure. It is treated through symptom management. Once symptoms management medications have started, they usually disappear within a few weeks or two. To help your child recover faster, you can use a humidifier at night, increase fluids, get extra rest, and manage fever, if any, and saline sprays.

      • No vaccine

    Currently, there is no vaccine to protect children against contracting RSV. However, several vaccines are developing, such as the RSV vaccine for pregnancy, which has posted promising results. Therefore, you should strive to ensure that your child does not contract RSV since prevention is better than cure.

    If you get infected, you should quarantine yourself at home and reduce interactions with other infected people.

      • There is a preventative medication.

    Since some individuals are at high risks, such as premature babies who are immunocompromised, they are eligible for a monthly injection. It protects them against severe RSV. It is usually injected during the high-risk season. The monthly injection contains antibodies that help fight off the infection.

      • No antibiotics

    Since RSV is a virus, there are no antibiotics used. The only medication is to manage the symptoms, such as opening the airways and enhancing breathing. Infants may require hospitalization for a close watch.

      • No distinction between healthy children

    Healthy children, their immune systems can fight an RSV infection. It only becomes severe when the child has other primary illnesses, which often weaken the immunity.

      • Timely vaccination

    You should ensure that your child gets the recommended vaccinations at the right times. They won’t prevent your child from contracting RSV, but they will prevent them from acquiring a primary infection which may weaken the immunity and aggravate the RSV symptoms.