If you have small children or are a new parent, you have probably heard of the dangers of RSV, or Respiratory Syncytial Virus before. Anyone at any age can contract RSV, but it is especially important to protect your infant from getting sick from this virus.

RSV and the common cold can both cause similar symptoms in the beginning, which can make determining what your baby is suffering from even more troublesome. Below, our AFC Urgent Care Chattanooga team explains what RSV is and what severe symptoms to watch out for.

What Does RSV Do to My Baby’s Lungs?

RSV is a virus that infiltrates your baby’s breathing passages and upper respiratory tract. It can cause mild irritation to begin with, which can lead to some coughing, wheezing and other mild cold-like symptoms.

If you start to notice these symptoms in your baby, keep an eye on him or her to watch for any changes or worsening symptoms. Since your baby is so small, that means that his or her airways are really small too! This makes the inflammation and irritation much more dangerous and can create difficulty breathing.

Signs of a Worsening RSV Infection

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

Will My Baby Recover From RSV Easily?

RSV is a very common illness in the younger population. It is so common that most children will have it at some point before they turn two years old. That means the majority of cases will remain mild to moderate and your child will start to feel better within a week or so.

However, in the instances that your baby starts to experience trouble breathing, this indicates that he or she is struggling with a severe infection or complications like pneumonia or bronchiolitis. This could look like rapid, shallow breaths or a bluish or gray color to the skin. Anytime you notice these signs, it is a medical emergency and you need to seek care immediately.

Reducing Your Risk of Spreading RSV

  • 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 Chattanooga.