Is it RSV or is it COVID-19?

Jul 1, 2021 | Children's Health

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After a year of thinking solely about one virus—the Coronavirus—many parents are now grappling with unrelated stomach bugs, colds, croup and other viruses.

For example, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), is usually a winter virus commonly spread during the cold months spent indoors. But this year, it’s different. Along with Parainfluenza virus, it is causing colds, coughs, and wheezing in late spring and summer.

“Just this week, we’ve had 25 patients admitted to the hospital with RSV,” says Ashley Lucas, MD, medical director of pediatrics with Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health. “What starts as a stuffy nose and mild fever, can progress into a deep cough with shortness of breath. These symptoms are similar to COVID-19, so it can be hard for parents to know what is going on.” While COVID-19 affects the elderly the most, RSV can be worrisome in young infants and children with underlying lung disease. Most older children and adults have some immunity to RSV and have mild cases.

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