Medical history for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection

When you take your child to a health professional for coldlike symptoms, you may be asked details about his or her condition. This information alone is not enough to confirm a diagnosis of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. However, along with the physical exam, it can help your health professional identify signs of complications, evaluate the severity of the illness, and determine whether it is getting better or worse.

During a medical history, your health professional will ask:

  • What are your child's symptoms?
    • When did they start?
    • How severe are they?
    • Are they getting better or worse?
  • How is your child acting? Have you noticed any feeding or sleeping problems or problem behavior?
  • What medicines have you given your child?
  • Has your child been sick recently? What medicines were used?
  • Does your child have any risk factors for severe RSV infection? For example, was he or she born with heart or lung problems?
  • Has your child had recent contact with people who have respiratory infections?

These same types of questions may be asked to adults who have a higher risk of developing complications from RSV infection, especially those who are older than 65.

Last Updated: July 16, 2008

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