RSV Strikes Haxtun and Fleming
Fall is upon us, here in northeastern Colorado. When cooler temps arrive, so do illnesses. Dr. Amy Seinfeld, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at Haxtun Health discusses what we can do to prevent transmission, RSV symptoms, and how to treat those symptoms.
As parents, we want to ensure our children are healthy and thriving, but we know that germs are everywhere, and children will get sick at some point or another. So, let’s dive into what symptoms of RSV may look like and how the virus presents itself. “Signs of RSV are runny nose, fever, and cough,” Seinfeld states, “Children may have a lot of congestion and feel stuffed up.” These symptoms will typically display themselves in stages and not all at once.
Care and Treatment
“RSV is a respiratory virus common in infants and small children. Unfortunately, there is no definitive cure except supportive care and time. Most infants and children will recover on their own, but it is important to keep them comfortable and well hydrated.”
Although we don’t have a treatment for RSV, we can still take steps to relieve the symptoms. “Saline washes and using a suction bulb can be very helpful in clearing the nasal passages and helping them be more comfortable breathing,” states Seinfeld. We can manage the fever and pain with over-the-counter fever reducers such as Ibuprofen and Tylenol. Speak with your family healthcare providers before administering nonprescription cold medicines to children.
RSV can potentially lead to more severe infections such as bronchiolitis, an inflammation of the small airways in the lungs, and pneumonia, an infection of the lungs. “Be on the lookout for dry mouth and throat, flaring of the nostrils, skin color changes or retractions in the chest when an infant or child is breathing,” Seinfeld warns, “A high fever and not drinking any liquids is also concerning and one should monitor the wet diapers if it is an infant and amount of fluid one drinks for a toddler or child.”
Prevention and Transmission
We can reduce the spread of RSV by covering coughs and sneezes with an upper shirt sleeve or tissue, not your hands. Washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds limits the chance of spreading the virus. Cleaning frequently touched surfaces also cuts down on the likelihood of transmitting RSV.
If you feel that you or your child may have contracted RSV, consult with your primary care physician to discuss treatment plans and how to care for the symptoms. You can call the Haxtun Clinic at 970-774-6187 to schedule an appointment in Haxtun or Fleming.