Are All RSV Infections Dangerous?

It’s that time of year again when your friendly AFC team refreshes your memory about RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus. This pesky illness is not only a nuisance in our community, but it can also be dangerous or even deadly for your newborns and infants.

Our AFC Urgent Care Sevierville team understands the risks associated with RSV, so we explain more below about this particular virus and what to watch for in terms of symptom progression.

How Contagious Is RSV?

Infection prevention strategies are crucial as we get into the fall and winter seasons because illnesses like RSV are incredibly contagious and can make your baby really sick in just a few days. The virus can be spread through airborne droplets from uncovered coughs and sneezes, but it can also be spread through direct contact.

A single sweet kiss on your baby’s cheek from a grandmother or uncle could be all it takes for your child to come down with a severe case of RSV. This is why we really recommend limiting who can kiss your baby at this time of year and limiting time spent in large groups while inside.

Early Signs of an RSV Infection

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Trouble eating or drinking

How Can RSV Be Treated?

RSV is unfortunately classified as a viral infection, which means it just has to run its course in your child’s body. Antibiotics won’t work against a virus, and there is not a quick medication that will eradicate it from your child’s body. It is important not to panic, however, because most RSV infections do not progress to a point where medical intervention is needed. Offer fluids often, encourage rest and keep an eye on your child’s breathing.

Mild to moderate symptoms can occur alongside a cough or an occasional wheezy breath, but it is not considered a medical emergency until your child starts to exhibit signs of respiratory distress. Breathing troubles could be dangerous and even deadly, so seeking help immediately is always necessary.

Signs of Dangerous Respiratory Distress

  • Chest retractions
  • Bluish skin or fingernails
  • Wheezing with every breath
  • Difficulty breathing

RSV can be really dangerous. Come see us at AFC Urgent Care Sevierville if you are worried about your symptoms.