For Parents

About Influenza & RSV in Children

Get Tested in Scranton, PA Today

Influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are both extremely common conditions that all pediatricians often treat during the cold winter months. Both of these illnesses can be treated easily, though if left untreated will likely result in severe complications.

The board-certified pediatricians at Pediatrics of Northeastern Pennsylvania provide treatment for the flu and RSV in Scranton, PA. Learn more and schedule an evaluation of your child's symptoms today.

What Is RSV?

Everyone is fairly familiar with the influenza virus, but few individuals are able to identify early symptoms of respiratory syncytial virus. This particular illness is extremely common in young children, though it can affect persons of all ages.

RSV is associated with symptoms similar to a common cold, which include:

  • Coughing
  • A low-grade fever
  • Increased irritability
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing (will usually appear as wheezing or abnormally fast breaths)

It is possible for RSV to spread from person to person through vapors that are passed during a sneeze or cough. Due to the highly contagious nature of this virus, parents should avoid overcrowded areas and be sure that all individuals who come into contact with their child (especially if they are a newborn or infant) wash their hands before doing so.

When To Seek Treatment

Some mild cases of influenza or RSV may resolve themselves if the individual receives enough rest to fully recuperate. However, if you notice any serious symptoms such as breathing difficulties or a high fever, you should seek medical attention for your child immediately. It is often better to be safe than sorry even when dealing with a mild case, as early treatment will be able to offer fast relief from painful symptoms.

Diagnosis and Treatment

In order to officially determine whether or not your child has influenza or RSV, a variety of tests may need to be performed. Our pediatricians do not provide testing for RSV because it goes against detailed recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, though we are able to test for influenza at our office near Scranton, Pennsylvania. Different types of tests may be ordered based on the multiple strains of influenza that a child may contract. Influenza A and influenza B are among the most common, but it is also possible to test for other subforms.

Results are typically available within a few days after the sample has been collected and sent to the lab for testing. Rapid test options will of course have a much faster turnaround time that should be available within just a few hours. If you have completed flu testing with Pediatrics of Northeastern Pennsylvania but have not yet received your results after several days, please contact our office by calling (570) 346-1464 to inquire about your test results.

Based on the outcome of the tests, your pediatrician will be able to recommend a course of treatment to relieve symptoms associated with your child’s illness. If you notice that your son or daughter’s symptoms are worsening, please bring them in for a consultation as soon as possible.