Health Matters: Know the Signs of RSV

Most cases of RSV go away on their own, but it could lead to something serious if left untreated.

You may not know what respiratory syncytial virus is, but you’ve likely had it.

If severe cases are left untreated, it could result to something serious.

Most babies will get the respiratory illness that may look like a cold and most of the time, it goes away on its own.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be paying attention because it could lead to a more serious illness.

“Runny nose, cough, fever, not eating or drinking well, and having trouble breathing. Respiratory type symptoms,” said Dr. Bud Belk who works in the Emergency Department at Essentia Health in Detroit Lakes. “Those are some of the first symptoms you would see with someone that has the RSV virus.”

But don’t panic.

“RSV is something that most of us all will have by the age of two in our lifetime,” said Dr. Belk.

Some cases are more severe than others.

It’s when symptoms lasts more than a week that other complications can occur.

“RSV is from the lung, but you can get these other things as well,” said Dr. Belk. “Such as pneumonia, ear infections. You could even get an infection in the throat as well.”

You don’t want it to linger and get worse.

If your baby is havingĀ  trouble breathing, it’s time to go to the hospital.

“Is your baby acting like normal? Do they have a fever?” askedĀ Dr. Belk. “Is your baby feeding. Is your baby having excessive coughing?”

At the hospital, physicians can treat patients with fluids and help control the fever.

“We haven’t had any bad outcomes, thankfully, but we’ve had quite a few cases. Like I mentioned, most do go home,” said Dr. Belk. “There have been a couple that have to be hospitalized for a few days. Those have gone home as well.”

People over 65 are also at higher risks when it comes to RSV.

Dr.Belk says if you’re a smoker, take precautions before you handle your child.

Smoke can make the infection worse.

He recommends you change your clothes and maybe even take a shower.