While we talk about the common cold like a single disease, it describes symptoms shared by numerous diseases. Among the diseases in question are included both bacterial infections and viral infections. This is why some colds can be difficult to overcome, while others can seem to pass in a couple of days. Further, the severity of the symptoms themselves can vary. Some may come with a mild fever, others with lots of sneezing, while others may produce worse congestion than others. One variety, known as respiratory syncytial virus or RSV, can have significant symptoms that can become life-threatening when left untreated in some patients. MD First Primary & Urgent Care is available to help you, and has produced this guide to help you determine when a common cold may be RSV.
Discover The Details Of Respiratory Syncytial Virus And Its Risks
On the surface, RSV shares many symptoms that appear with most common colds. However, with this infection comes the potential for significant complications that make it more dangerous than most. While most of those who develop RSV will recover quickly and without concern, vulnerable patients may develop more severe symptoms. These patients tend to include children, the elderly, and those with suppressed immune systems. The most significant differences between RSV and most common colds include:
- Severity – While the symptoms are similar, their presentation tends to be more severe. This is particularly true in younger patients, in whom it can develop into bronchiolitis. This condition involves the small airways of the lungs becoming inflamed. Indicators of this condition are difficulty breathing and wheezing, which can develop into respiratory failure if left untreated.
- Pneumonia Risks – Pneumonia can develop in severe cases and is more common in the elderly. This condition can be life-threatening for vulnerable patients. These include both the elderly and those with suppressed immunity at increased risk of developing pneumonia.
- Duration – Most manifestations of the common cold will pass in just over a week. RSV can hang on for multiple weeks or even months.
RSV has no known cure, though some treatments are available for managing the condition’s symptoms. Most patients will not need any specific approach to recover from RSV. However, when treatment of the symptoms is necessary, the following options are available:
- Over-The-Counter medications such as NSAIDs (Ibuprofen) and acetaminophen can help relieve discomfort and ease any fevers.
- Nasal saline drops can provide relief from congestion.
- Hospitalization can occur if the symptoms aren’t treated in severe cases. Intravenous fluids, oxygen therapy, and mechanical therapy may be involved in helping patients recover.
Learn More About RSV With MD First Primary & Urgent Care
If you’re concerned that you may be struggling with something more than a common cold, it’s time to call (803) 283-2300 and schedule your next appointment or drop into our urgent care. We’ll provide you with prompt care and help ensure that you’re prepared to help prevent more severe symptoms from this condition. Don’t let that “common cold” become a life-threatening condition; call us today and set your mind at ease about the possibility of RSV.