What’s RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)?

July 30, 2021

What’s RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)?

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common virus that causes illness of the nose, throat and lungs. RSV is common in adults and children and usually appears with mild symptoms, leading many to believe they’re experiencing the common cold. Common symptoms of RSV include:

- Runny nose
- Blue tinge to the lips and fingertips
- Congestion
- Fever
- Sore throat
- Wheezing

Symptoms of RSV in children and adults typically last one to two weeks.

Infants may have a more difficult time fighting off RSV, sometimes requiring hospitalization in severe cases. Short, shallow and rapid breathing, as well as coughing, poor feeding, lethargy and unexplained irritability may signal a severe case of RSV in infants under 12 months of age.

To reduce your chance of RSV, you should wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face and disinfect high-traffic surfaces.

If you or your child are experiencing symptoms of RSV, BSA Family Medical Clinic’s highly skilled primary care providers can help. To schedule an appointment, visit bsahs.org/fmc.