How Did My Kid Get RSV, and Is It Contagious?

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It can be scary when a parent comes face-to-face with an unknown illness. RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) affects the lungs and respiratory tract, and it is highly contagious. The virus is most common among infants and young children but can also affect adults.

If you suspect your child has RSV, a pediatric care specialist can perform testing and provide treatment options during a sick visit. They also offer tips on preventing the spread of the virus, such as washing your hands frequently and avoiding contact with others.

Our trusted pediatricians in Denton, Plano, and Wylie, TX are here to support families and ensure that everyone understands the risks associated with this virus.

What is RSV?

RSV is a respiratory virus that targets the small air pathways (bronchioles) in the lungs. Most children catch RSV by the time they reach two years old. It produces symptoms similar to a cold – runny nose, cough, and fever. In some cases, it causes serious complications such as wheezing and difficulty breathing.

Infants and young children are at a higher risk of contracting RSV. Premature babies, those with existing respiratory or heart conditions, and those with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to the virus. Compromised individuals should seek pediatric care if they show signs of RSV.

How does RSV spread?

RSV spreads through droplets in the air when someone coughs or sneezes, and it can live on surfaces for hours. It is extremely contagious and spreads quickly from person to person. For instance, adults and older children can spread the virus to babies and young children. Parents should educate themselves and their children about proper handwashing etiquette, which is the best way to prevent RSV from spreading.

Protecting your child from RSV

Prevention is key when it comes to protecting your family from RSV in Denton, Plano, and Wylie, TX. Here are some tips on how to reduce the risk of your child contracting this virus:

  • Wash your hands and disinfect surfaces and objects (like toys) regularly.
  • Avoid crowds and large gatherings where there is a greater risk of contact with the virus.
  • If your child attends daycare or school, make sure to follow their guidelines for hygiene and health precautions.
  • Encourage your child to cover their mouth when coughing and sneezing.
  • Make sure your child is vaccinated according to the CDC's recommended vaccination schedule.

If you think your child may have been exposed to or is showing symptoms of RSV, call a pediatrician at Health Services of North Texas for a pediatric sick visit.

How is RSV diagnosed?

A pediatrician can diagnose RSV and other respiratory illnesses during a physical exam. They may perform certain lab tests to confirm a diagnosis. Treatment for RSV depends on the severity of the case and symptoms, but we generally recommend medications and getting plenty of rest.

Hospitalization may be necessary in severe cases to monitor and treat more serious complications. Health Services of North Texas can provide guidance and support at every step.

Receive the best in pediatric care

It is normal to feel anxious and worried when your child becomes ill. Our pediatricians are here to address your concerns about RSV. To schedule a sick visit with Health Services of North Texas, click here. Families of all backgrounds in Denton, Plano, and Wylie, TX entrust us with their child’s health.