RSV can seem like a scary virus for new parents to be aware of, and unfortunately, it sometimes is. RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, can cause some serious breathing issues for your newborn or infant.

While anyone can become infected with RSV, it disproportionately affects small children and older adults and can even be life-threatening in severe cases.

Our AFC Urgent Care Hickory team wants you to be prepared as we head into RSV season, so read on to learn more about this pesky virus.

In What Ways Does RSV Spread?

RSV is a viral illness that can quickly spread through dense populations. This is why outbreaks in places like daycares, nursing homes and school classrooms are really common! It can be transmitted through the air through uncovered coughs or sneezes, and it can also be spread through direct contact.

If your child picks up a toy with viral particles on it and then puts it in his or her mouth, an RSV infection may not be far off. Your child can also get infected if a friend or relative kisses his or her face. We recommend limiting who can kiss your baby at this time of year, just to be on the safe side.

Signs of an Early RSV Infection

  • Fever
  • Runny nose/congestion
  • Shallow breathing
  • Cough
  • Muscle or body aches

When Is RSV Dangerous?

Since RSV is an upper respiratory infection, it settles into your child’s airways and small breathing passages. The presence of the infection can make your child’s airways swell and become inflamed, and any sort of inflammation in these small passages can be really dangerous for your child.

Breathing normally can become more difficult, and it can result in shallow or rapid breaths. Over time, it can progress into true respiratory distress, which is when your child’s body is not getting enough oxygen to function properly. Seeking medical attention whenever your child is experiencing the below symptoms is crucial for keeping your baby safe.

Signs of a Dangerous RSV Infection

  • Shallow breathing or chest contractions
  • A high fever that won’t go away
  • Blue skin or fingernails
  • Loss of consciousness

If you aren’t feeling well, we can help. Come see us at AFC Urgent Care Hickory.