RSV: What You Need To Know and How To Get Tested

As parents, we all want to protect our children from illness and keep them healthy, but sometimes we can’t avoid the inevitable. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common respiratory illness that affects many young children. In this blog, we will discuss what RSV is, how it is treated, what signs to look out for, and when to get tested.

What is RSV?

RSV stands for respiratory syncytial virus. It is a common respiratory virus that affects young children and can cause serious illness in some cases. RSV spreads easily through coughing and sneezing, and it can survive on surfaces for several hours. Young children under two years old are most at risk for contracting RSV, but it can occur in people of all ages.

How it is treated

In most cases, RSV can be treated at home with plenty of rest, fluids, and supportive care. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses, so they are not commonly prescribed for RSV. However, some children with severe RSV may need to be hospitalized for additional treatment, such as oxygen therapy or IV fluids. Children with pre-existing medical conditions, such as heart or lung problems, are also at higher risk for severe RSV and may require hospitalization.

Rise of cases

Unfortunately, there has been a rise in cases of RSV in the DFW area. At Cook’s Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth alone, over 4,000 patients tested positive for RSV in just one week. Due to this surge, the medication used to prevent RSV (palivizumab) is in short supply. This has left many parents feeling frustrated and worried about their child’s health. However, it’s important to note that palivizumab is not a cure for RSV, rather it helps prevent severe cases of the virus. With the shortage, only high-risk children can get the medication. 

Signs of RSV

The signs and symptoms of RSV can vary, but they often start out similar to a common cold. Some common signs of RSV include coughing, wheezing, fever, and runny nose. As the illness progresses, some children may experience difficulty breathing or rapid breathing, which can be a sign of a more severe infection. It’s important to seek medical attention if you notice any of these symptoms in your child.

When to get tested

Testing for RSV involves collecting a sample of nasal secretions or throat swabs to test for the virus. If your child is experiencing symptoms of RSV, it’s important to seek medical attention from a healthcare provider. They can help determine if a test is necessary and provide additional treatment if needed. In some cases, testing for RSV may not be necessary if the symptoms are mild and can be treated at home.

RSV is a common respiratory illness that affects young children. While it can be a serious illness in some cases, most children can recover from RSV with simple supportive care at home. Pay attention to the signs and symptoms of RSV and seek medical attention if necessary. At CityDoc Urgent Care, our team of healthcare providers is available to help diagnose and treat RSV and other respiratory illnesses in young children. Stay vigilant, take care of your little ones, and do everything you can to protect them from respiratory illnesses.

Get tested for RSV today at any CityDoc location. Reserve a time.