Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Lung Disease & Respiratory Health Center

Font Size

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Infection - Exams and Tests

In otherwise healthy people, it is not usually necessary to distinguish respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection from a common cold. A doctor may suspect RSV infection as the cause of symptoms when there is evidence of a recent community outbreak. It is generally not necessary to confirm RSV infection with lab tests. But a medical history and physical exam may be done to evaluate symptoms.

A viral detection test may be done to confirm a diagnosis of RSV in symptomatic children and adults older than 65 who are at an increased risk for a severe infection or for complications. The test involves lab analysis of nasal drainage, obtained with a cotton swab or nasal wash. Testing may also be recommended for people who are hospitalized if the cause of symptoms has not already been determined and they have a high risk of developing complications.

Recommended Related to Lung Disease/Respiratory Problems

Benign Lung Tumors and Nodules

If you've received the news that your lung contains something "suspicious," this may be a source of great distress. The first thing that may come to mind is a dreaded word: cancer. In many cases, though, a lung nodule turns out to be benign. This means that it isn't cancer. A hard part is waiting and not knowing. Here's information that may make your wait just a little bit easier.

Read the Benign Lung Tumors and Nodules article > >

The results of viral detection tests help determine whether precautions are needed to prevent the spread of infection. For children who are at risk for getting severe infections or complications of RSV infections, the results of these tests may help guide treatment, such as the need for medicines.

Certain tests may be needed if RSV symptoms do not improve or become worse or if complications such as bronchiolitis or pneumonia are suspected. These tests may include:

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 25, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Living With Copd
VIDEO
Lung Disease Health Check
HEALTH CHECK
 
Cigarette butts in ashtray
Article
Household Hazards For People With Copd
Article
 

Bronchitis Overview
SLIDESHOW
Copd Myth Fact Quiz
QUIZ
 
Living With Copd
VIDEO
Energy Boosting Foods
SLIDESHOW
 

cigarette butts snuffed out in ashtray
SLIDESHOW
Healthy Home Health Check
TOOL
 
Senior woman stretching
Article
Diagnosing Copd
VIDEO
 

WebMD Special Sections