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NEWS | July 31, 2021

What you should know about RSV

By Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs

Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, infections are on the rise locally and nationally.

RSV is a common respiratory virus that typically causes mild “cold-like” symptoms in adults and older children. However, for infants, RSV can progress to bronchiolitis or pneumonia and more serious symptoms requiring hospitalization.

Symptoms of mild RSV in infants and young children can include:

  • Runny nose
  • Low-grade fever
  • Wheezing
  • Irritability
  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Decreased appetite

Mild RSV typically resolves on its own -- there is no antibiotic or specific medication to treat this virus. Key management at home includes fever control with over-the-counter medication; conservative nasal suctioning; and offering plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.

Things you can do to help protect your infant from RSV:

  • Wash hands frequently
  • Avoid close contact with those that are sick
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Always cover sneezes and coughs
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces
  • Stay at home if feeling ill


  • If the infant is working hard to breathe – this includes rapid breathing, using chest muscles with breaths and/or making grunting sounds, flaring of the nostrils, or any pauses in breathing.
  • If the infant is unusually tired and difficult to arouse.
  • If the infant is having difficulty tolerating liquids/has less wet diapers than usual.
  • If the infant has any blue/gray discoloration of skin, particularly around the mouth.