Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What are the Symptoms of RSV?

Symptoms of RSV infection are similar to other respiratory infections:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Mild sore throat
  • Fever
  • Less appetite
  • Possible wheezing
  • Trouble sleeping

In very young infants, the only symptoms may be irritability, decreased activity, and breathing difficulties.

How is RSV Diagnosed?

Your baby's healthcare provider may take a chest X-ray and send a mucus sample to a lab for testing.

How is RSV Treated?

  • There is no specific medicine for the treatment for RSV infection.
  • If your baby has RSV, your healthcare provider will assess if your child's illness is mild or severe.
  • Symptoms are treated for children with mild disease, such as using acetaminophen to reduce fever.
  • If your child has severe disease, he or she may need to be treated with oxygen, have mucus suctioned from the airways or have breathing tubes inserted for mechanical ventilation.
  • Some children with severe RSV are treated with a drug called ribavirin aerosol.
  • Some children with severe RSV will need to be hospitalized. It is usually for only a few days. Children recover in about 1 to 2 weeks.

 Learn more about preventing RSV