Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus that causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most adults will have a runny nose, cough and maybe a fever, but should recover within a week or two. However, for those at risk, RSV can be a dangerous illness. Those considered at-risk for severe RSV are young children, older adults, and those with chronic respiratory problems, such as asthma. While there is no vaccine for RSV, there are a few things you can do to keep yourself and those around you well.
Prevent the spread of germs by covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue, then throw it away. Then, wash your hands.
Washing your hands frequently is key when it comes to preventing the spread of germs. Using soap and water, scrub for at least 20 seconds. Before you eat, when cooking or after using the restroom, make sure to clean your hands.
If you or someone around you has cold-like symptoms, avoid close contact. Try not to touch, kiss or share cups or utensils. Take extra caution when near those who are at risk for severe RSV. Do not touch infants with dirty hands.
Clean surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops and handles to help stop the spread of germs.
One big way you can stop the spread of germs is by staying at home when you are sick. By staying home from church, work or school you prevent the spread of RSV to you friends and coworkers.
RSV is not completely preventable, but there are many habits that can help keep us well.