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.
viral detection test may be done to confirm a
diagnosis of RSV in symptomatic
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
Recommended Related to Lung Disease/Respiratory Problems
It is possible that the main title of the report Cystic Fibrosis is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
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
pneumonia are suspected. These tests may
Oximetry, to measure the amount of oxygen in the
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
June 25, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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