January 17, 2020
What is RSV?
RSV (or respiratory syncytial virus) is one of the many viruses that cause respiratory illness―illnesses of the nose, throat, and lungs. This virus occurs in the late fall through early spring months.
Typically, RSV causes a cold, which may be followed by bronchiolitis or pneumonia. Symptoms generally last an average of 5-7 days.
Symptoms may include:
- Fever (temperature of 100.4 or higher)
- Cough (dry or wet sounding)
- Runny nose
- Poor feeding
- Fast breathing
- Flaring of the nostrils
- Head bobbing
- Rhythmic grunting during breathing
- Belly breathing, tugging between their ribs and or tugging at their lower neck
Is RSV contagious?
Yes. RSV spreads just like a common-cold virus―from one person to another. It enters the body through the nose or eyes or, usually from:
- Direct person-to-person contact withsaliva, mucus, or nasal discharge.
- Unclean hands (RSV can survive 30 minutes or more on unwashed hands).
- Unclean objects or surfaces (RSV can survive up to 6 hours on surfaces, toys, keyboards, door knobs, etc).
What can you do to help your child feel better?
There is no cure for RSV and medications, like steroids and antibiotics, do not help with RSV.
To help your child feel more comfortable, begin by doing what you would for any bad cold:
- Nasal saline with gentle suctioning to allow easier breathing and feeding.
- Cool-mist humidifier to help break up mucus and allow easier breathing.
- Fluids and frequent feedings. Make sure your child is staying hydrated. Infants with a common cold may feed more slowly or not feel like eating, because they are having trouble breathing. Try to section baby’s nose before attempting to breast or bottle-feed. Supplementation with water or formula is unnecessary for breastfed babies. If difficult for the baby to feed at the breast, expressing breastmilk into a cup or bottle may be an option.
- Acetaminophen or ibuprofen (if older than 6 months) to help with low-grade fevers. Always avoid aspirin and cough and cold medications.
How can you protect your children from RSV?
Wash your hands! Just as you would to prevent germs at any time, use soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Remind children to practice good hand hygiene all through the year.
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/chest-lungs/Pages/RSV-When-Its-More-Than-Just-a-Cold.aspxNext Post >>