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Lung Disease & Respiratory Health Center

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Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Infection - When To Call a Doctor

Call911or other emergency services right away if:

See your doctor right away if your baby or child has moderate trouble breathing.

Call a doctor if your child:

  • Breathes slightly faster than normal and seems to be getting worse. Most healthy children breathe less than 40 times a minute.
  • Has cold symptoms that become severe.
  • Has shallow coughing, which continues throughout the day and night.
  • Has poor appetite or decreased activity level.
  • Has any trouble breathing.

For more information on what to do if your child has trouble breathing, see Respiratory Problems, Age 11 and Younger.

Watchful waiting

For an otherwise healthy child who has symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, such as a cough or runny nose, home treatment usually is all that is needed. But it is important to watch for signs and symptoms of complications, such as dehydration.

Watchful waiting may not be appropriate when your child with an upper respiratory infection has an increased risk for complications. Watch your child closely if he or she has symptoms of an upper respiratory infection. If symptoms get worse or new symptoms develop, see a doctor right away.

Who to see

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection can be diagnosed and treated by a health professional such as a:

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    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.
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