Symptoms of RSV Seniors Should Watch Out For

In-Home Care Comstock Neighborhood WA

In-Home Care Comstock Neighborhood WA

RSV infections are on the rise in the United States. RSV is a respiratory infection that can be dangerous or even deadly to seniors. Older adults and seniors who have respiratory conditions like lung cancer and COPD have a very high risk of serious problems if they get RSV. Every year between 60,000 and 120,000 older adults are hospitalized due to RSV infection.

Seniors who have lung or respiratory illnesses need to do whatever they can to avoid getting RSV. Vaccinations are recommended. So is getting in-home care so that seniors don’t need to go out during peak RSV infection season. A home care provider can run errands, grocery shop, and do other tasks so that seniors can stay home. Seniors who think they might have RSV should see a doctor right away.

The symptoms of RSV are:


A persistent and severe cough is one of the most recognizable symptoms of RSV in seniors. This cough can be dry or produce mucus and can be quite distressing, leading to discomfort and sleep disturbances. Seniors who have respiratory illness may notice that their usual cough sounds different or is more painful.

Shortness of Breath

Seniors with RSV may experience increased difficulty breathing, which can be particularly concerning for those with pre-existing respiratory conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma. Seniors who are having a hard time catching their breath should get immediate medical help.


Wheezing, a high-pitched sound when breathing, is a common symptom in seniors with RSV. It is a result of the narrowing of airways, making it harder for them to breathe normally. Anytime seniors experience wheezing they should see a doctor.


Some seniors infected with RSV may develop a low-grade fever. While it is typically not very high, it can contribute to feelings of malaise and discomfort.


RSV often leads to extreme fatigue in seniors. The body’s immune response and the effort to fight the infection can leave older adults feeling weak and lethargic.

Chest Pain

The persistent cough and strained breathing associated with RSV can lead to chest discomfort and even pain, which can be particularly concerning for seniors.

Sore Throat

A sore throat can accompany RSV infection in seniors. This symptom, along with the cough, can contribute to difficulty in eating and swallowing.

Runny or Stuffy Nose

Seniors may experience nasal congestion, runny nose, and sneezing, which can add to their overall discomfort.

Decreased Appetite

RSV can cause a reduced appetite in older adults, leading to a lack of interest in food and contributing to overall weakness.

Confusion or Mental Fog

In some cases, RSV can lead to cognitive symptoms such as confusion or mental fog, which can be especially concerning in seniors who may already have cognitive issues or dementia.

Increased Heart Rate

Seniors with RSV may experience an elevated heart rate, especially when the infection puts added stress on the cardiovascular system.


RSV can cause seniors to become dehydrated, especially if they have a fever and are not taking in enough fluids. Dehydration can exacerbate other symptoms and lead to further complications.


In severe cases, RSV can cause a bluish discoloration of the lips and nails, known as cyanosis, which indicates a lack of oxygen in the blood and requires immediate medical attention.

The symptoms of RSV can be similar to the flu and COVID-19, so seniors experiencing any of these symptoms should get medical attention to find out what their condition is and get appropriate treatment.

If you or an aging loved-one is considering In-Home Care in Comstock Neighborhood, WA, please contact the caring staff at Angel Senior Care today at (509) 326-4357

Vaughn & Donna Young