What Parents Should Know about RSV? When to go to ER?

what parents should know about RSV

During the cold season, there are increased cases of cold that force parents to take their children for urgent treatment in Abilene, TX. Unfortunately, the truth is that what many parents think is cold might be RSV. RSV, also known as Respiratory Syncytial Virus, is an illness that has almost the same symptoms as the flu. However, RSV can become critical if left untreated. This is why you should look for an emergency room near you once you suspect your child has RSV.

This illness is common in kids but can affect adults too. However, kids are more susceptible to the disease due to their weak immune systems and social activities in classrooms, communities, and childcare centers. This piece will help you learn more about RSV and when to look for emergency care. Keep on reading to find out more.

What Are the Symptoms Of RSV?

Here are the symptoms of RSV:

  • Rapid or fast breathing.
  • Irritability.
  • Nasal congestion.
  • Runny nose.
  • Wet or dry cough.
  • Sneezing.
  • Fever.

If left untreated, RSV can lead to pneumonia or bronchiolitis. When this happens, the symptoms become severe. Here are some of the severe symptoms:

  • The child shakes their head up and down when breathing.
  • Dehydration symptoms like sunken eyes and infrequent urination.
  • Hyperactivity or vice versa.
  • Worsening symptoms.
  • Wheezing sound when breathing.

When you take your child to the emergency doctor, they will carry a physical exam with a nasal swab test. If the symptoms of RSV are severe, the doctor may request an x-ray test to ensure that the child’s lungs are free from infection.

Is There Treatment For RSV?

Sadly, there is no cure for RSV. Nevertheless, supportive care can be given to your child to reduce the symptoms. First, excess mucus from the child’s nose can be removed to reduce clogging.

In addition, the emergency doctor can offer physical chest treatment to induce coughing to break up the clogged mucus in the child’s breathing system.

Additionally, it is essential that your child stays hydrated. This is because they need essential electrolytes to ensure their body can help fight the virus. Moreover, children with RSV lose their appetite. Therefore, giving your child liquids will help them stay hydrated and can be a good supplement for food.

Oxygen gas can also help a struggling kid. Oxygen gas can be essential when your child’s lungs are clogged and can help them breathe properly.

Children Susceptible To RSV

Here are infants who have a higher risk of RSV infection:

  • Babies born prematurely.
  • Kids born with certain heart defects.
  • A child with a weak immune system.
  • Babies 12 weeks old or younger at the start of the winter season.
  • Low birth weight children live with a family member who smokes or has a history of allergies.
  • Kids living in crowded or congested areas.

How Can You Prevent RSV?

The bad news is that RSV is contagious. The virus can be easily transferred from one person to another. RSV is transmitted through direct contact with mucus, saliva, surfaces with germs, and dirty hands.

Here are the best ways to prevent you and your kid from getting infected with RSV:

  • Ensure that everyone washes their hands in the house. As mentioned earlier, this virus can be transmitted through touching dirty surfaces that have the virus and touching infected mucus or saliva. Therefore, ensure that everyone washes their hands with soap and water. Moreover, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer as the virus can survive on unwashed hands for up to 30 minutes.
  • Clean touching surfaces: it is essential that you clean any surfaces that your child can touch. This is because the virus can survive on surfaces for six hours. Therefore, clean and disinfect these surfaces to kill germs and bacteria. On top of that, disinfect your child’s toys and door knobs too.
  • Stay away from sick people: if you notice that a family member has cold-like symptoms, you can ask them to isolate themselves or keep your child away from them. However, it is imperative to note that you should separate your child’s utensils from other people’s. This will prevent the transmission of the virus.
  • Teach good hygiene practices: you should teach your family good hygiene practices, like covering up whenever they cough or sneeze. Additionally, advise your loved ones to frequently wash their hands.

RSV can be a critical illness if left untreated. If you notice any of the mentioned symptoms, visit Express Emergency Room Abilene, and our doctors will help control the symptoms of this illness.

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