What Does an Upper Respiratory Infection Feel Like?

Upper respiratory infections become much more common in the fall and winter months, and we are already seeing a spike in different infections across our community.

While there are many different upper respiratory infections, RSV is one of the most common illnesses that impact us during this time of year. It has the potential to make certain populations really sick, so knowing what symptoms to look for is crucial.

Read on as our AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN team explains more about upper respiratory infections and RSV specifically.

Do Respiratory Infections Spread Easily?

Infections can be really contagious and can be transmitted in a variety of ways. The most common transmission methods for RSV are through airborne droplets, like from a cough or sneeze, or from direct contact. This is why limiting who can kiss or hug your baby is important at this time of year!

If you or your child is exposed to RSV, it can start producing symptoms about one to four days later. While some infections can cause you to feel really sick really fast, RSV typically starts out slow and mirrors minor cold symptoms. However, what starts out as a mild cough or low-grade fever could quickly turn into respiratory distress.

  • Fever
  • Runny nose/congestion
  • Shallow breathing
  • Cough
  • Muscle or body aches

Can RSV Be Treated?

Since RSV is a viral infection, it cannot be quickly treated with something like antibiotics. It will just have to run its course in your body while you support your child’s immune system through rest and hydration.

Remember, while most RSV cases are mild to moderate and will fade away in about a week, older adults and small children are at a higher risk of severe infection. If a child or a loved one starts to experience symptoms of respiratory distress, seeking emergency medical attention is crucial and could save his or her life.

Warning Signs of Respiratory Distress

  • Shallow breathing
  • Blue skin or fingernails
  • Feeling lethargic or extremely tired
  • Chest pain

RSV can be dangerous. We are always here for you at AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN.