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RSV Testing & Care Information

November 23, 2022

Please see the following information about Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) from our Vermont Department of Health (VDH) epidemiology and pediatrician colleagues.

There is no special treatment for RSV (or respiratory syncytial virus) so testing is generally not recommended. For most children, testing for RSV is unnecessary as it will not change the treatment of the child.
Most children with RSV will recover with home care. Fever, cough, and congestion can be managed at home with fever-reducing medicines, gentle nasal suctioning, and humidification.  
Children should be seen by a medical provider if they have difficulty drinking and are dehydrated or if they have difficulty breathing with use of chest or neck muscles. Rare but serious symptoms in infants include gray or blue color to skin or lips or long pauses in breathing. Those infants should be seen by a medical provider immediately.

A negative RSV test should not be required for a child to participate in school or child care. Sick children should stay home from school or child care, even if they test negative for COVID-19 and the flu.

In these times of high respiratory virus in the community, getting vaccinated is more important than ever. Everyone over the age of 6 months should be vaccinated against influenza. Walk in clinics for both influenza and COVID-19 vaccination remain available with expanded weekend and evening hours to accommodate a variety of schedules, namely families with school-aged children. Now is the optimal time to vaccinate patients for protection as the season progresses.

We want to thank our VDH partners for putting this guidance together. As a reminder from us here at the Child Development Division, child care programs should continue to follow the Signs and Symptoms guidance in Appendix A of the child care licensing regulations.

We hope you all have a safe and happy holiday!