RSV is short for respiratory syncytial virus infection. It causes the same symptoms as a bad cold. And like a cold, it is very common and spreads easily. Most children have had it at least once by age 2. There are many kinds of RSV, so your child’s body never becomes immune to it. Your child can get it again and again, sometimes during the same season.
Unlike the common cold, the flu comes on suddenly and the symptoms can be more severe
It is very hard to keep from catching RSV, just like it is hard to keep from catching a cold. But you can lower the chances by practicing good health habits. Wash your hands often and teach your child to do the same.
Most RSV infections go away on their own in a week or two. There is no specific treatment for RSV infection.
Healthy adults and infants infected with RSV do not usually need to be hospitalized. But some people with RSV infection, especially older adults and infants younger than 2 years of age, may develop pneumonia or bronchiolitis. They may need to be hospitalized if they are having trouble breathing or are dehydrated. In most severe cases, a person may require additional oxygen, or IV fluids (if they can’t eat or drink enough).
Bronchiolitis is inflammation of the small airways in the lung. Symptoms may begin as mild, as described above. As bronchiolitis progresses, more serious symptoms can start, such as: