Please be aware that Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV) has become prevalent in our community. RSV is a common respiratory virus that affects the lungs and breathing passages. Most of the time, RSV will cause a mild, cold-like illness, but it can also cause severe illness such as bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs).
Please monitor your child for the following symptoms. These symptoms usually appear in stages and not all at once. If your child has the symptoms below, please keep your child home from school:
Symptoms usually appear 4 to 6 days after exposure.
Common Signs and Symptoms
- Coughing, which may progress to wheezing or difficulty breathing
- Runny nose/sneezing
- Decrease in appetite
- In young infants, the only symptoms may be irritability, decreased appetite and activity, and breathing difficulties
People infected with RSV are usually contagious for 3 to 8 days and may become contagious a day or two before they start showing signs of illness. RSV can spread when:
- An infected person coughs or sneezes
- You get virus droplets from a cough or sneeze in your eyes, nose, or mouth
- You have direct contact with the virus, like kissing the face of a child with RSV
- You touch a surface that has the virus on it, like a doorknob, and then touch your face before washing your hands
Diligent hand washing is advised. Most RSV infections go away on their own in a week or two. Home care measures include managing fever, increasing fluids to prevent dehydration, and rest. If you suspect your child has RSV and they are having difficulty breathing, not drinking enough fluids or experiencing worsening symptoms, you should contact your health care professional promptly. If your child is diagnosed with RSV, he/she should not return to school until they are fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication, their cough and runny nose has improved and they have returned to their normal energy levels. It is important to note that children could be more susceptible to a secondary infection if not fully recovered prior to their return to school or day care.
For further information on RSV, please use the following links to the CDC resource page: