RSV Virus

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RSV Symptoms

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a virus that causes respiratory infections in both young and old. RSV can sometimes cause a serious and life threatening infection in younger children.

This is a very contagious infection, and it is the most common reason why children younger than one year develop bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lungs) as well as pneumonia.

Symptoms in Children

For children, the symptoms usually start with:

  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Wheezing

About one third of young children have signs or symptoms of bronchiolitis or pneumonia during their first RSV infection. Most of the children that are hospitalized for an RSV infection are younger than six months old. Recovering from RSV takes usually about 10 to 14 days for most children.

Symptoms in Adults

RSV can also cause repeated infections in adults. The symptoms of RSV for adults are similar to those of the common cold.

  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Coughing
  • Aching body
  • Fever

More Severe RSV Symptoms

A person can develop more severe lower respiratory tract disease at any age. If such symptoms occur, a person can develop:

  • Skin turns blue or purple
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Difficulty getting enough oxygen

Other Possible Complications

  • Ear infections
  • Lung failure
  • Pneumonia
  • Please immediately contact your doctor or pediatrician if you think the symptoms are severe and worsening.