Is It the Flu or RSV?

Diagnosing yourself can always be a little tricky, especially at this time of year. Many different infections share similar symptoms, so having a cough or body aches doesn’t automatically mean that you have a cold or the flu.

It could also mean RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, which can be a serious upper respiratory infection. RSV causes thousands of hospitalizations every winter season across the country, so knowing what to look for and taking action quickly is crucial.

Read on as our AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah team explains more about RSV and what to do if you or your child starts feeling sick.

How Does RSV Spread?

Both the flu and RSV are viral illnesses, which means they are really contagious and can spread through our community quickly. A simple uncovered cough or sneeze can make you sick, and so can touching an infected surface or getting too close to an infected person.

If you do contract the flu or RSV, you can expect to experience symptoms between one and four days after exposure. The flu often makes people feel really sick really fast, while RSV starts out slowly and resembles a cold in the beginning. While that may not seem so bad, it can quickly progress to signs of respiratory distress.

Signs of Infection

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Chills and sweats
  • Muscle or body aches

How Dangerous Is RSV?

It is important to remember that most RSV infections aren’t dangerous or deadly. Most individuals will feel sick for a few days and make a full recovery in a week or less. However, there is always the small chance that a severe infection develops and your child begins to suffer serious symptoms.

This is why rapid testing and symptom monitoring is important. Knowing what your child is suffering from and what red flag symptoms to look for can help you take action quickly if you start to notice breathing troubles. Come see us for a quick test and we can discuss some treatment options so your little one can find relief.

RSV Red Flag Symptoms

  • Chest contractions
  • Bluish skin or fingernails
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing

We want your entire family to stay healthy this year. If you are worried about RSV or the flu, come see us at AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah.