Does RSV Always Cause Respiratory Distress?

RSV can seem like a scary virus, and sometimes it is! RSV can infect anyone at any time, but the fall and winter months tend to experience higher caseloads because everyone is inside and spending more time closer together.

Most adults will only experience mild symptoms when infected with RSV, but children and infants can have a much harder time overcoming the illness.

Read on as our AFC Urgent Care Hixson team explains more about RSV and the warning signs to watch for that should prompt urgent medical attention.

Does RSV Spread Quickly?

Yes, unfortunately. RSV is a highly contagious viral infection that is transmitted through airborne particles or through direct contact with the virus. Uncovered coughs and sneezes can cause you to get sick as well as from something simple like a kiss from an infected person. Because of this, we really recommend that you limit who can kiss and cuddle your newborn or infant during the fall and winter seasons.

While preventing illness isn’t a complete guarantee at this time of year, be mindful about spending time in large crowds or around sick individuals. Stay home, wash your hands and avoid touching your face as much as possible.

Beginning Stages of RSV

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

Why Does RSV Cause Breathing Trouble?

RSV is an upper respiratory infection, which means it settles into the airways and breathing passages. Any sort of inflammation in this area can make it harder to take a full breath, which is what can cause those symptoms of respiratory distress or shallow breathing.

Keep an eye on how your child feels and how they are acting and encourage rest as much as possible. Respiratory distress is always considered a medical emergency, so seek immediate medical care if your child starts to exhibit any of the below signs.

RSV Warning Signs That Should Prompt Medical Attention

  • 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 Hixson.