So how can you tell RSV from COVID-19?


Dell Children’s Medical Center continues to see an increase in the number of children with COVID-19 and other upper respiratory infections, especially cases of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus).

So how can you tell RSV from COVID-19? Dr. Meena Iyer, chief medical officer at Dell Children’s Medical Center, explains the difference between the symptoms and how parents can protect their children in this KVUE report.

Here’s what you need to know.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or a runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea.

Each year in the United States, an estimated 58,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized due to an RSV infection. Infants and young children are at highest risk for severe RSV, making them more likely to get serious complications if sick.

Early Symptoms of RSV include:

  • Runny nose
  • Cough, which may progress to wheezing
  • Irritability
  • Decreased activity
  • Decreased appetite
  • Apnea (pauses while breathing)

Virtually all children get an RSV infection by the time they are two years old. Most cases of RSV will cause a mild, cold-like illness, but it can also cause severe illness such as Bronchiolitis and Pneumonia.