Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

How is RSV spread?

It is very easily spread in the respiratory droplets by coughing or sneezing. RSV can live on environmental surfaces for hours and can be spread on the hands of people who touch these surfaces.

When does RSV infection occur?

In Newfoundland and Labrador, RSV usually occurs between January and May of each year.

Can RSV infection be prevented?

Here are some of the most important things you can do to prevent the spread of RSV:

  • Promote hand washing before touching your baby.
  • Encourage children to wash their hands especially after returning from school.
  • Breastfeed your baby.
  • Do not share personal items such as pacifiers, eating utensils and toothbrushes.
  • Keep your child away from people who have colds.
  • Try to avoid crowded places during the RSV season.
  • Keep your child away from smokers, second-hand smoke and clothes that smell of smoke.
  • Get the flu shot for you and your child (six months – five years)

What is the treatment for RSV infection?

  • Since RSV is a virus, antibiotics are not used
  • Treat the symptoms.
  • Fever medication, if needed.
  • Small frequent feedings.
  • Rest
  • Medical assessment if symptoms worsen.
  • Infants or children with more serious infection may require hospitalization.

Services related to this information:

811 HealthLine (Newfoundland & Labrador) – Call 811 or 1-888-709-2929 / TTY 1-888-709-3555

Public Health Nursing office

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