Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Testing Questions and Answers
RSV testing checks for the virus that causes an RSV infection that affects the respiratory tract. Primary Care 360 offers RSV testing. Visit us at a location near you today or call us for more information. We are open 6 days a week!
Respiratory syncytial virus, commonly abbreviated as RSV, is a virus that infects the respiratory tract, including the lungs and airways. People with no underlying health conditions that are in otherwise good health typically experience mild, cold-like symptoms and recover within a few weeks. However, in some situations, RSV can be serious, especially for babies and the older population. In the United States, RSV is the most common cause of both pneumonia and bronchiolitis in children under the age of one. With treatment, RSV can make a quick and safe recovery while keeping symptoms at bay.
What is the Respiratory Syncytial Virus?
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a virus that causes infections of the respiratory tract, including the bronchi, airways and lungs. It is a common virus that most prevalently affects children. In fact, most children have been infected with RSV by the age of two. RSV can also infect adults. In adults and older, healthy children, symptoms of RSV are mild and resemble those of the common cold. In the majority of these cases, self-care measures are typically all that is needed to relieve any discomfort from symptoms. RSV has a typical seasonality and usually occurs at the same times of year, including from October until May, with a peak season in the colder months of January or February.
How contagious is RSV?
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is contagious. In addition to being the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lungs) and pneumonia (inflammation of the air sacs of the lungs) in children under one year old, it is also a significant cause of respiratory illnesses in older adults. RSV can spread when:
- An infected person coughs or sneezes
- Virus-infected droplets from a cough or sneeze gets in the eyes, nose, or mouth
- Touching a surface that has the virus on it and then touching the face before hand-washing
- Direct contact with the virus, like kissing
People infected with RSV are usually contagious for three to eight days, however this can be as long as four weeks in people with weakened immune systems, even after they stop showing symptoms. Children are often exposed to and infected with RSV in school, child-care centers or other locations outside the home, which can then be transmitted to other members of the family.
What causes RSV?
RSV is caused by a non-segmented, negative-strand ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus, a member of the family Paramyxoviridae. The two types of RSV include type A and type B, and although they are both simultaneously present in most outbreaks, type A typically causes more severe symptoms than type B.
How is a RSV test done?
There are a few different types of RSV testing, including blood tests, swab tests and nasal aspirate:
- Nasal Aspirate — This noninvasive test is performed by a health care provider where they inject a saline solution into the nose, then gently remove the sample via suction.
- Swab Test — Performed in many different diagnostic tests, a swab test involves a special swab to take a sample from the nose or throat.
- Blood Test — During a blood test, a sample of blood is collected from a vein (typically in the arm), using a small needle.
If you or someone you love has symptoms of RSV, come to Primary Care 360. Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating RSV and can help you or your loved ones make an expeditious recovery. Primary Care 360 has convenient locations to better serve you: in Sherwood, AR, Hensley, AR, and White Hall, AR. We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from Sherwood AR, East End AR, White Hall AR, Little Rock AR, Jacksonville AR, Maumelle AR, Cabot AR, Bryant AR, and Conway AR.