RSV: Symptoms and Treatments before it turns into Pneumonia

RSV: Symptoms and Treatments before it turns into Pneumonia

January 9, 2023
Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is one of the most common viruses causing respiratory disease in children and older adults with compromised immune systems. The virus spreads through direct contact with an infected person and is most prevalent during the late fall and early spring months.Although the symptoms of RSV in adults and most older children are mild and resemble the common cold, it can create complications in vulnerable individuals. Children below 12 months and adults with weak immune systems and heart and lung conditions are more prone to develop complications. We are equipped at Fairfield Emergency Room to handle RSV-related complications, including pneumonia.

What Are The Symptoms Of RSV?

For most individuals, the symptoms of RSV resemble that of the common cold and resolve on their own within 5-7 days. Some early signs of the infection include fever, cough, congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and irritability.

If the infection is confined to the upper respiratory tract, the patient most likely won’t need immediate care in an ER near you.

If the virus infects the lower respiratory tract, causing bronchitis and pneumonia in severe infections, these conditions can be life-threatening; RSV treatment in infants should start immediately if any of the following signs are present:

  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Rhythmic grunting while breathing
  • Belly breathing and tugging between the ribs and neck
  • Wheezing noise while breathing
  • Infants and immunocompromised adults presenting the signs above need urgent treatment to prevent further complications.
  • RSV Treatment Options
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Unfortunately, there is no cure for RSV infections, and antibiotics or steroids are of little help. In most cases of mild RSV infections, the doctor will prescribe over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen to help with the low-grade fever.

Nasal saline sprays and cool-mist humidifiers can make breathing easier for a child with RSV. Ensuring your child gets a lot of fluids and stays hydrated also helps. In most cases, the symptoms of mild RSV will resolve on their own without your child needing treatment in a 24-hour emergency room in Houston, TX.

That said, if the condition worsens and the child presents with symptoms of bronchitis or pneumonia, you might need emergency pneumonia RSV treatment in Houston, TX.

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How To Prevent RSV From Infecting Your Child?

RSV spreads like the common cold virus- from one person to another, entering the body through the nose or eyes. As RSV can be transmitted from adults to children, it is important to exercise proper precautions. Here are a few simple steps to prevent the spread-

  • While coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the sleeve of your shirt, not your bare hand.
  • Wash your hands often with good soap for 20 seconds.
  • Sanitize and disinfect toys and other surfaces.
  • Avoid close contact with your child if you have symptoms of RSV.
  • Please visit Fairfield Emergency Room, Cypress, TX, if you have any questions or think your child needs emergency care.

Why Are Infants and Young Children the Most Vulnerable to Respiratory Viruses?

Social, immunological, and physiological factors explain why infants and young kids are susceptible to respiratory viruses. A child’s immunity is developed naturally through infection and artificially via immunization. Until children aged 5 to 6, their immune function remains underdeveloped, and they remain in danger of getting respiratory viruses.

Social aspects like daycare, personal hygiene, and passive smoking can influence the kid’s ability to remain protected from respiratory viruses. In daycare, children interact with others who might have respiratory viral infections, thus contracting the viruses.

Secondhand smoke within homes, as well as outdoor air pollution, can heighten the risk of infection. Further, the risk for respiratory viruses is higher among kids whose mothers used to smoke during pregnancy.

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What Precautions Can Your Family Take to Avoid RSV?

To help prevent RSV from spreading in babies and young children, you should encourage the washing of hands. Other people at your home must wash their hands before touching your baby. If you have cold symptoms, avoid kissing your baby in areas around the face.

Let your child avoid crowds and wash their environment and toys regularly. From late fall through early spring, RSV gets more prevalent. As such, limit your young children and babies’ time in daycare and crowded environments. Further, avoid environments containing smoke. Visit Fairfield Emergency Room to get RSV emergency treatment for children.

What to Do if Your Child Has a Severe Case of Pneumonia

Get your child to an ER for emergency treatment if they have severe pneumonia. Receiving pneumonia emergency treatment ensures that further complications don’t arise and the condition is stabilized.