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RSV, Respiratory Syncytial Virus is circulating in Austin right now. In older children & adults, RSV infection would look like most any other “cold”. In children younger than 2 years of age, RSV can cause bronchiolitis, an infection of the smallest airways of the lungs. Swelling and mucus in the bronchioles can cause difficulty breathing.

RSV starts out with a copiously running nose, mild cough and fever. Usually around day 3-5 the cough worsens, sometimes accompanied by wheezing, a whistling sound heard on exhalation.  Because RSV is viral, treatment is mainly supportive.

  • Use saline nasal drops generously and suction nose carefully as often as needed,
  • Run a cool mist vaporizer in your child’s room while they sleep
  • Gently elevate the head of their bed by placing a small pillow or folded blanket UNDERNEATH the crib mattress. (Remember, nothing IN the crib.)
  • Do not allow anyone to smoke near your child
  • Sleep in the same room as your child, so that you know right away if he or she starts having trouble breathing


Generally speaking, if your child is happy and eating well, they are unlikely to be seriously ill. Call the doctor if you have questions or concerns about your child, or if:

  • The skin and muscles between your child’s ribs or below your child’s ribcage look like they are caving in
  • Your child’s nostrils flare (get bigger) when he or she takes a breath
  • Your infant younger than 3 months has a fever (temperature greater than 100.4)
  • Your child older than 3 months has a fever (temperature greater than 100.4) for more than 3 days
  • Your infant has fewer wet diapers than normal


Some information from UpToDate.

To read more about RSV please see: