Do you want to know how to spot the symptoms of RSV? Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common virus that can cause respiratory infections, especially in young children and older adults. Recognizing the symptoms of RSV is important for early diagnosis and treatment. Here are the typical symptoms of RSV:
A persistent, often severe cough is a common symptom of RSV. The cough may be dry or produce mucus.
Nasal congestion and a runny nose are often seen in RSV infections. The nasal discharge may be clear or thick and yellowish.
Many people with RSV infections develop a fever. It can range from mild to high, depending on the severity of the infection.
Like the common cold, RSV can cause sneezing.
Some people with RSV may experience a sore throat.
Wheezing, which is a high-pitched whistling sound when breathing, can occur in some cases, especially in infants and young children.
Infants and young children with RSV may have rapid or labored breathing. This can be a sign of a more severe infection.
In severe cases, RSV can cause difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, which may require immediate medical attention.
Infants and young children with RSV may feed less than usual due to congestion and difficulty breathing.
Infants and young children may be irritable, fussy, or have trouble sleeping due to discomfort.
RSV can cause fatigue and weakness, especially in older adults.
In severe cases, particularly in infants, the skin and lips may turn bluish due to a lack of oxygen. This is a medical emergency, and you should seek immediate medical attention.
Severe cases of RSV can lead to dehydration, which can be indicated by decreased urination, dry mouth, and sunken eyes.
Worsening of Pre-existing Conditions
People with pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), may experience worsening of their symptoms.
It’s important to note that the severity of RSV symptoms can vary widely, from mild cold-like symptoms to more severe respiratory distress. In some cases, RSV can lead to bronchiolitis or pneumonia, which can be life-threatening, especially in infants and older adults.
If you or someone you know exhibits these symptoms, especially if there is difficulty breathing or bluish skin, seek medical attention promptly. RSV can be diagnosed through laboratory tests, and treatment may include supportive care such as hydration, oxygen therapy, and antiviral medications in severe cases. Preventive measures like good hand hygiene and avoiding close contact with sick individuals, especially for those at high risk (infants, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems), can help reduce the spread of RSV.