As the weather cools down, there is a lot to be excited about! The holidays are right around the corner and that means quality time with family and friends. That also means that the cold and flu season is ramping up, too.

One illness that you need to be careful about is respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. This virus is especially dangerous to your infant or small child, and it can even be deadly in some cases.

RSV and the common cold can start out with the same symptoms, so if your baby begins to experience a runny nose or a mild cough, it is important to keep an eye on him or her to catch any worsening symptoms. Our team at AFC Urgent Care Tyvola Road shares what symptoms of RSV to watch for below.

What Does RSV Do?

RSV is a virus that attacks the upper respiratory tract, including the lungs. Once you are infected, you can start to experience irritation and inflammation in your breathing passages. This irritation is what causes the resulting cold symptoms.

While cold symptoms might be all you experience as an adult, if your baby gets RSV, his or her symptoms could be much more severe. The reason is that the airways and breathing passages of infants are so tiny! Irritation or inflammation within such a small space can be dangerous and even cut off oxygen supply.

Signs That RSV Is Worsening

  • Flaring nostrils while breathing
  • Belly breathing
  • Wheezing or coughing
  • Fever that won’t go away

What Symptoms Are Serious for RSV?

The good news is that not all babies who contract RSV will get seriously sick. Some babies will just experience mild symptoms and be fine again in about a week. However, if your baby’s symptoms start to worsen or he or she begins to have trouble breathing, this indicates a medical emergency.

Signs that your baby is having trouble breathing include rapid, shallow breaths, chest retractions or a change in skin or lip color from normal to blue or gray. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is imperative that you seek medical attention immediately.

Preventing Future RSV Infections

  • Don’t kiss your baby while you are sick.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Don’t let others kiss your baby.
  • Cover your sneeze or cough.

RSV should always be taken seriously. If you are concerned about the health of your infant, come visit us right away at AFC Urgent Care Tyvola Road.