RSV Diagnosis

Your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask questions about the your symptoms, medical conditions, and medications to make an RSV diagnosis. In infants, a diagnosis of RSV can be suspected based on severe illness during an outbreak of RSV in the community. If the doctor suspects RSV, he or she can take a throat swab or sputum sample (saliva and discharge from the respiratory passages) and send it to a lab for analysis.

An Introduction to RSV Diagnosis

In order to make an RSV diagnosis, the doctor will ask a number of questions about your symptoms, along with questions about any medical conditions you have or medications you are taking. The doctor will also perform a physical exam, including listening to the lungs with a stethoscope. In infants, an RSV diagnosis can be suspected based on severe illness during an outbreak of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) in the community. An RSV diagnosis is more difficult to make in children than in adults because RSV symptoms are similar to those of other respiratory viruses, such as a virus that causes the common cold.
 

Lab Tests for RSV Diagnosis

If the doctor suspects RSV, he or she can take a throat swab or sputum sample (saliva and discharge from the respiratory passages) and send it to a lab for analysis. A diagnosis of an RSV infection can be made if the lab is able to find the virus or detect any viral antigens (toxins), viral RNA (ribonucleic acid), a rise in serum antibodies (cells that fight toxins), or a combination of these findings.
 
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RSV Disease

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