The best time to learn about RSV is before your baby does. As a parent, you probably have a lot of questions. We have the answers.

    RSV is a highly contagious virus that can lead to serious lung infections in babies, including bronchiolitis and pneumonia.

    RSV symptoms can include a runny nose, sneezing, congestion, coughing, fever, decreased appetite, and wheezing.

    In very young babies, the only RSV symptoms they may show are irritability, decreased activity, decreased appetite, and difficulty breathing.

    Although there is no specific routine treatment for an RSV infection, ask your doctor for recommendations on how to manage RSV symptoms, such as how to reduce their fever, or using nasal saline drops and suctioning to help clear a stuffy nose. If there’s a bacterial complication, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

    In severe cases, if your baby has trouble breathing, they may need to be hospitalized. There, they may be treated with IV fluids, oxygen, or a breathing machine (ventilator).

    Since most RSV cases are mild, testing is usually not required to diagnose the infection. However, depending on your baby’s medical history and the time of year, their doctor may do a nose swab or blood test to look for viruses and check white blood cell counts.

    In more severe RSV cases where hospitalization is required, your doctor may do a chest X-ray or CT scan to check for lung complications.

    Click the button below to read about an option to prevent RSV disease in babies.


  • What may be happening on days 1-2:

    • Baby inhales droplets containing RSV

    Symptoms can include:

    • No symptoms
  • What may be happening on days 3-5:

    • RSV damages cells in the ear, nose, and throat

    Symptoms can include:

    • Congestion
    • Runny nose
    • Fever
    • Irritability
    • Decreased appetite
  • What may be happening on days 6-8:

    • RSV infects cells deep in the lungs

    Symptoms can include:

    • Cough
    • Rapid breathing
    • Wheezing and/or grunting noises
    • Nasal flaring
    • Abnormal chest movement when breathing



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