Like most viruses it ranges in its severity from case to case.
Severe RSV disease is the number one reason babies under 12 months old have to be admitted to hospitals in the US. You know the wretched colds that knock you flat and stand out in your memory? These are the colds that come with runny noses, sniffling and sneezing, harsh cough and fever. That illness might well be RSV. I actually can almost diagnose it over the phone when I hear the patients coughing. The cough sounds like it hurts.
- Coughing or wheezing that does not stop
- Fast or troubled breathing
- A bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
- Spread-out nostrils and/or a caved-in chest when trying to breathe
- Gasping for breath