RSV Infection

Jan 10, 2023

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RSV Infection

What is RSV?

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common virus that causes an upper respiratory tract infection. While most cases present with mild symptoms, it can lead to serious complications, such as respiratory failure, especially in infants.

In fact, RSV infection is one of the leading causes of respiratory and airway infections in infants. It is important to seek medical attention if you or your child is experiencing severe symptoms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), RSV infections are responsible for more than 58,000 hospitalizations of children under the age of 5 years.

What causes RSV?

RSV infections get usually transmitted through close contact with an infected person. Sneezing or coughing can easily spread the virus from one person to another. The virus can also be transmitted by touching contaminated surfaces such as a doorknob or toys.

Certain factors can increase your risk of developing an RSV infection, including:

  • Having a compromised immune system
  • Being an infant with cardiopulmonary defects
  • Being an adult over the age of 65
  • Living in crowded conditions
  • Attending daycare (for children)

Signs and symptoms of RSV

The signs and symptoms of RSV resemble a variety of upper respiratory infections and include:

  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Runny nose
  • Fever (in some cases)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Bluish color around the mouth and fingers
  • Decreased appetite
  • Chest pain
  • Nasal flaring (when the nostrils widen)

How to prevent RSV

To lower your risk of getting infected, you need to wash your hands frequently. During the flu season, washing your hands can significantly reduce your risk of contamination. This is because RSV has a lipid (fatty) membrane that is sensitive to soap and water. Think of it this way – When your hands are oily due to grease, you wash them with soap to get rid of the oil. The same principle applies to the virus.

In addition to handwashing, there are other ways to boost your immune system and improve its ability to fight off viruses.

Some general tips include:

  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Exercising regularly
  • Reducing stress
  • Avoiding tobacco and alcohol
  • Staying hydrated
  • Getting vaccinated against seasonal viruses

There is also some evidence that infusions could potentially help with RSV infections. For instance, one study found that delivering vitamins and fluids via the intravenous route could have significant benefits for patients with RSV infections. The most notable benefit is shortening the duration of the infection. You could also speak with your doctor about administering some medications intravenously.

Luckily, Memorial Health Urgent Care and Infusions has some of the best healthcare providers to take care of RSV infections. Learn more by clicking here

Takeaway message

RSV causes an influenza infection that could potentially confine you to bed for a few days. Educating yourself about this condition and how to prevent it can lower your risk of contamination.

We hope that this article managed to highlight the main aspects of RSV and how some basic tips could help.

If you have any questions about RSV or Memorial Health Urgent Care and Infusions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.