Mark McColl, MD
Luke Howell, DO
Marci Wood, FNP

Cough, cough, fever. Welcome to RSV.

This time of year we start to see lots of kids and some adults with pretty nasty respiratory infections.  One of the worst is caused by Respiratory Syncytical Virus (RSV).

Infants are usually the most at risk for complications of RSV

Here are several quality resources for understanding RSV and managing symptoms.

CDC RSV information page
Healthychildren.org RSV information pagec

Is RSV contagious?

Yes. RSV spreads just like a common-cold virus―from one person to another. It enters the body through the nose or eyes or, usually from:

  • Direct person-to-person contact withsaliva, mucus, or nasal discharge.
  • Unclean hands (RSV can survive 30 minutes or more on unwashed hands).
  • Unclean objects or surfaces (RSV can survive up to 6 hours on surfaces, toys, keyboards, door knobs, etc).

Symptoms can appear 2 to 8 days after contact with RSV. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people infected with RSV are usually contagious for 3 to 8 days. However, some infants and people with weakened immune systems can be contagious for as long as four weeks―even if they are not showing symptoms.

Keep in mind, children and adults can get RSV multiple times–even during a single season. Often, however, repeat infections are less severe than the first one.