Upper Respiratory Infection, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, and Pneumonia

An upper respiratory infection attacks the upper areas of the respiratory including the sinuses and throat. In contrast, a lower respiratory infection invades the airways or lungs, where it may cause symptoms such as pneumonia. But what causes upper respiratory infection? In a majority of cases, viruses are the cause of upper respiratory infection, including the Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV.

Patients with RSV tend to develop upper and lower respiratory illnesses. Fairfield Emergency Room offers a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for upper respiratory infection, RSV, and pneumonia.

What is RSV?

RSV is a viral respiratory tract infection that causes mild respiratory illness in adults but brings serious symptoms in kids younger than two years and the elderly.

RSV is extremely contagious and spreads through close contact with individuals with the virus. After an infected individual coughs or sneezes, the virus can get into the surrounding air. The virus can get into the body through the nose, mouth, and eyes. To treat RSV in adults, a physician must consider the symptoms.

Upper Respiratory Infection, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, and Pneumonia

How Long do RSV Symptoms Take to Show Up?

Once exposed to RSV can take about 2 to 8 days before you begin to have symptoms. Once the illness has started, it can take roughly 3 to 7 days to disappear. Most kids and adults can recover in just 1 to 2 weeks.

Who Are at Risk of RSV?

Almost all kids are infected with RSV by the time they reach their second anniversary or two years old. In most cases, it only presents with cold-like symptoms. Nonetheless, some kids and certain adults can have a serious infection. Those at risk of having severe RSV are:

  • Premature babies
  • Infants aged below six months
  • Infants with congenital lung and heart conditions
  • Kids with weakened immunity
  • Kids with difficulty swallowing or clearing mucus
  • Adults above 65 years old
  • Adults with asthma, congestive heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Upper Respiratory Infection Associated with RSV

Complications of RSV in adults and kids include flu-like illness and pneumonia. Most patients will show flu-like symptoms such as coughing, runny nose, sneezing, fatigue, sore throat, mild headache, congestion, and fever. These symptoms resemble those of most upper respiratory infections.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of An Upper Respiratory Infection?

Some individuals may not require treatment, and physicians recommend getting lots of fluids and having adequate rest to allow the body to fight the illness. Other treatments are based on the symptoms, such as decongestants, saline nasal sprays or drops, and over-the-counter painkillers or fever reducers.

The doctor may advise that patients use cool-mist humidifiers in dry environments since they help keep the airways and mucus moist. Additionally, they help reduce airway irritation while lessening the severity of a cough.

Can RSV Cause Pneumonia?

As the virus moves to the airways and lungs, it causes a lower respiratory infection like pneumonia. Pneumonia presents with symptoms such as the inability to breathe properly. Therefore, if you have difficulties breathing and have been exposed to RSV, you should realize that the RSV is becoming pneumonia and get to an ER immediately. Having RSV and pneumonia simultaneously can be dangerous; prompt care is needed.

Visit Fairfield Emergency Room for treatment. We provide not only treatment for RSV pneumonia in infants but also adults.