Can Adults Get RSV? How Long Does RSV Last in Adults? Latest Updates! [2023]

Yes, adults can get RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus). The duration of RSV symptoms in adults can vary, but typically, symptoms last from two to eight days, although they can last longer, especially when they lead to other serious conditions. Most infections will resolve after 1-2 weeks unless the infection is more severe, in which case it may last several weeks.

According to the CDC, most RSV infections go away on their own in a week or two, but the virus can linger for several weeks, especially in cases of more severe infection. Adults with weakened immune systems, chronic heart or lung conditions, or those aged 65 and older are at a higher risk for severe RSV, and they may experience symptoms for a longer duration.

Symptoms of RSV in adults include cough, headache, fatigue, fever, and upper respiratory infection symptoms. It is important to seek medical evaluation if severe cough, continued fevers, or continual fatigue with symptoms are experienced. Hand hygiene is crucial in preventing RSV, as the virus is spread from person to person through inhalation of infected respiratory secretions or contact with dried, infected respiratory secretions. RSV is contagious while the infected person has symptoms, typically for three to eight days.

What are the symptoms of rsv in adults?

Typical symptoms of RSV in adults include:

  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Mild fevers
  • Fatigue

More severe symptoms may include:

  • Influenza-like symptoms
  • Serious cough
  • Wheezing
  • Pneumonia
  • Difficulty breathing independently
  • Risk of death in extreme cases

Severe cases of RSV can lead to:

  • Bronchiolitis (inflammation of small airways in the lungs)
  • Pneumonia

Emergency symptoms that warrant immediate medical attention include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • High fever
  • Bluish tint to the skin
  • Wheezing
  • Worsening cough

RSV symptoms typically start 2-8 days after exposure to the virus.

Symptoms often appear in phases rather than all at once.

Adults over the age of 65 or those with health conditions such as asthma, COPD, chronic heart disease, or weakened immune systems are at a higher risk for severe RSV.

How is rsv treated in adults?


Sure, here’s the information organized into bullet points:

Supportive Treatment:

  • No specific antiviral medication for RSV in adults.
  • Treatment primarily focuses on supportive care.

American Lung Association Recommendations:

  • For mild symptoms:
  • Rest and fluids are recommended.
  • For those with COPD or asthma:
  • Maintain the use of prescribed medications to reduce breathing difficulties.

Everyday Health’s Suggestions:

  • For mild or moderate RSV:
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Take over-the-counter medications for pain or fever.

WebMD’s Self-Care Steps:

  • Managing RSV at home:
  • Drink plenty of liquids.
  • Use saline nose drops.
  • Get lots of rest.
  • Avoid cigarette smoke.

CDC’s Advice:

  • Managing fever and pain:
  • Use over-the-counter fever reducers and pain relievers (e.g., acetaminophen or ibuprofen).
  • Drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration.

Severe Cases and Hospitalization:

Hospitalization may be necessary in severe cases.

Especially for older adults and individuals with weakened immune systems or chronic heart or lung conditions.

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