Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common virus that affects most children before their second birthday. It can cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms, such as a runny nose, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Although RSV is usually mild, it can be serious in young babies, particularly those born prematurely or with underlying health conditions. Knowing the signs and symptoms of RSV is important, as well as when to seek medical attention.
Parents should be aware of the warning signs of RSV, which can include difficulty breathing, a bluish tint to the skin, increased irritability, and a decrease in activity level. A baby may also have a fever, runny nose, and a dry cough. If a baby is having difficulty breathing, is not feeding well, or is having difficulty staying awake, parents should seek medical attention right away.
When to Seek Help
If a baby has any of the following symptoms, parents should seek medical attention:
- Difficulty breathing or fast breathing
- Not feeding well
- Bluish tint to skin
- Increased irritability
- Decreased activity level
- High fever
- Persistent coughing or wheezing
Parents should also contact a doctor if their baby was born prematurely or has an underlying health condition and is showing any signs of RSV. A doctor may recommend taking the baby to the hospital for further tests and observation.
It is important for parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of RSV and to seek medical attention if their baby is showing any of these symptoms. Knowing the warning signs and when to seek help can be the difference between a mild case of RSV and a more serious one.