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RSV (RESPIRATORY SYNCYTIAL VIRUS)

Mother holding baby.

Symptom Management & Care

RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) often causes cold-like symptoms but can be severe for infants and older adults.

Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, wheezing, and in very young babies, irritability and difficulty breathing. Learn about how RSV immunizations and other ways to prevent RSV.

At-Home Care

There isn't a cure for respiratory viruses yet, but there are ways to manage symptoms at home. If you or your child are dealing with mild symptoms, here are some tips:

  • Ease congestion
  • Get rest and stay hydrated
  • Use over-the-counter medication
  • Stay home

When to Seek Medical Care

Most respiratory illnesses are mild and resolve on their own without the need for emergency care or hospitalization. Contact a health care provider right away if you or your child has the following:

Who is at Higher Risk for Severe RSV?

Infants, young children, and older adults are at increased risk of severe RSV. Talking to a health care professional and getting immunized can help prevent severe disease.

Infants and some young children:
  • Younger infants, particularly 6 months old or younger
Adults:
  • Older adults

Returning to Childcare or School

  • Return to childcare or school should be based on symptoms. Generally, children with symptoms of respiratory infection should not return until symptoms have gone away or are at least mild and improving.

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