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Though most RSV infections do not result in hospital admission, infections are rarely asymptomatic.1,2 Symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and fever are similar to those of other common respiratory infections. Patients presenting with these symptoms are often treated empirically with antibiotics, without a formal diagnosis.
Although there is no specific treatment for RSV, diagnosis is very important. An accurate diagnosis allows infection control measures to be implemented, and enables the physician to withhold antibiotics, which are not effective against viruses.
- Popow-Kraupp, T. and Aberle, J.H. (2011) Diagnosis of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection. The Open Microbiology Journal, 5, (Suppl 2-M2) 128-134.
- Crowcroft, N.S. et al. (1999) Respiratory syncytial virus: an underestimated cause of respiratory infection, with prospects for a vaccine. Communicable Disease and Public Health, Vol 2; No. 4.