by Casandra Kendrick, DO
Lexington Clinic Richmond

Common colds and the flu aren’t the only sickness making the rounds to start the New Year. Recently, RSV has been popping up in pediatrician offices here in the Commonwealth and around the country. But what is RSV and why is it potentially so dangerous?

RSV, clinically known as Respiratory Syncytial Virus, is a common and very contagious respiratory virus that can potentially be dangerous in young children. RSV symptoms are typically very similar to a cold and start with a runny nose, cough and low-grade fever. RSV is very common and most children will be diagnosed with the virus at least once before their second birthday. However, the real concern with RSV is the potential for infection which could turn into something more serious like pneumonia.

RSV is typically treated with over-the-counter medicine but if you notice these symptoms you should call your child’s doctor immediately:
  • Trouble breathing, specifically wheezing or abnormally fast breathing
  • Chest wall retractions (diaphragm sucking inwards)
  • Persistent cough producing yellow, green or gray mucus
  • Unusually upset or inactive
  • Signs of dehydration – Check for lack of tears when crying and little or no urine in the diaper.
RSV is very contagious and anyone who plans to be around young children should wash their hands frequently.

If your child is showing these symptoms, call your child’s doctor and ask if the child should be seen. If your child does not have a doctor Lexington Clinic would like to help you find the person who is right for your family. If you would like help finding a provider, please call (859) 258-4362 or visit
Dr. Kendrick is board-eligible in Family Medicine and sees patients at Lexington Clinic Richmond. Dr. Kendrick provides services in general health; preventative care; chronic disease management including diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol; well checks and immunizations; COPD; and women’s health. Dr. Kendrick can be reached at (859) 626-0072.