Respiratory Syncytial Virus
|Respiratory System Anatomy of an Infant|
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- Age: infants and young children, especially those under 2 years old
- Exposure to a person infected with the virus or an object contaminated with the virus
- Premature birth of an infant
- Problems with the heart, lungs, or immune system
- Current or recent use of chemotherapy
- Previous organ or bone marrow transplant
- Problems associated with muscle weakness
- Stuffy or runny nose
- High fever
- Severe cough
- Shortness of breath
- Very fast rate of breathing
- Bluish color of the lips or fingernails
- Abnormal drowsiness or irritability
- Lack of appetite
- Discharge from the eyes
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Mild cough
- Low-grade fever
- Discharge from the eyes
- Drink plenty of liquids, especially water and fruit juice, to help keep nasal fluid thin and easy to clear.
- Use a cool-mist vaporizer to humidify the air. This may help reduce coughing and soothe irritated breathing passages.
- Use salt water nose drops to loosen mucus in the nose.
- Use non-aspirin fever medicine, such as acetaminophen, as needed to reduce fever.
- Humidified air
- Supplemental oxygen
- Treatments to improve breathing
- In certain cases, mechanical ventilation may be used if you or your child is unable to breathe without assistance
Practice healthy habits, such as:
- Wash your hands often, especially after touching someone who may have a cold or other RSV infection.
- Avoid touching your face and rubbing your eyes.
- Do not share items such as cups, glasses, silverware, or towels with people who may have a cold or other RSV infection.
- Avoid smoke exposure.
- If your baby has a high risk of serious illness from RSV, your doctor may recommend a medicine to help prevent infection. The medicine is given by injection. It is injected monthly through the fall and winter in children under two years old. Talk with your doctor to see if this medicine would help your child.
American Lung Association http://www.lung.org
Nemours KidsHealth http://www.kidshealth.org
Bronchiolitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 15, 2013. Accessed March 11, 2013.
Committee on Infectious Diseases, American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book 2006. 27th ed.
The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. Simon and Schuster, Inc.; 1999.
Respiratory syncytial virus. American Lung Association website. Available at: http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/respiratory-syncytial-virus/. Accessed March 11, 2013.
Respiratory syncytial virus. KidsHealth. The Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/lung/rsv.html. Updated September 2012. Accessed March 11, 2013.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/rsv/. Updated March 4, 2013. Accessed March 11, 2013.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 20, 2011. Accessed March 11, 2013.
1/15/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Kabir AR, Mollah AH, Anwar KS, Rahman AK, Amin R, Rahman ME. Management of bronchiolitis without antibiotics: a multicentre randomized control trial in Bangladesh. Acta Paediatr. 2009;98:1593-1599.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 10/2012 -
- Update Date: 03/11/2013 -