Learn About RSV’s 10 Most Common Symptoms

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a severe lung infection that primarily affects children younger than four years. It carries a high risk for complications like lung disease, pneumonia, and even death. Some adults also tend to suffer this condition at some point in their life.

The following symptoms may seem harmless, but they could spell trouble…

1. Runny Nose

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Having RSV is similar to having an ordinary cold, which includes having a runny nose. But, what makes it different is that the mucus is typically thicker and more copious than usual, so you better stock up on tissues.

The next symptom goes hand-in-hand with a runny nose…

2. Sneezing

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Gesundheit! Frequent sneezing is a typical symptom of the common cold, and it can be uncomfortable to deal with while having a clogged and runny nose at the same time. Sometimes, these are made worse by mild headaches.

You might want to pay extra attention to the sound of…

3. Coughing

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Coughing is relatively ordinary, but having one caused by RSV is quite different; it’s drier, more severe, and lasts for up to 3 weeks at a time. This is a sign that the condition has started to spread to the lungs.

Breathing just got weirder…

4. Wheezing

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When you wheeze, you can hear a high-pitched, whistling sound when you breathe, and it often happens along with RSV-induced coughing. This is also often accompanied by a crackling sound in the lungs and can be heard by the pediatrician during checkups.

A peaceful night’s sleep might get cut short by…

5. Apnea

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Apnea, or brief pauses without breathing during sleep, often happens with RSV cases. This condition usually occurs during the early stages of RSV and is experienced by about 20% of infants less than a year old.

Nutrition gradually becomes dismal…

6. Poor Appetite

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Infants and children suffering from RSV usually have a hard time eating and drinking, and as a result, they tend to lose their appetite. This causes poor bodily nutrition and sometimes drastic weight loss, making them prone to complications.

With all inconveniences considered, it’s no wonder this happens…

7. Irritability

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Infants with RSV, especially those younger than six months, usually become fussier and are more irritable than usual. This ends up with the child becoming less active and sluggish as the condition progresses.

All of that can do a number on the body…

8. Fever

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Since RSV is a viral condition, it’s not surprising that fevers frequently occur since it’s an indicator of the body trying to eliminate the virus or bacteria behind the infection. These may go up to 38°C and may last for a couple of days.

Breathing can become strained as time passes with RSV…

9. Breathing Problems

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Infants with severe RSV often suffer from breathing problems like troubled and rapid breathing and nasal flaring, where the nostrils expand with every breath. Other times, the chest wall retracts between the ribs and can be observed underneath.

And the worst of it all…

10. Cyanosis

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The younger the infant is, the more severe the symptoms will be on their end, making breathing more difficult. This apparent lack of oxygen (hypoxemia) could cause the child’s skin to turn blue and make them prone to further complications.

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