What Is A Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Test?
We perform the QuickVue RSV Test. The test is an immunoassay that facilitates rapid, qualitative detection of RSV antigen directly from nasopharyngeal swab specimens for symptomatic pediatric patients (eighteen years or younger).
Immunoassays are a type of biochemical test that gauges the presence or concentration of a macromolecule or small molecule in solution utilizing an antibody or rapid antigen.
The RSV test is intended for medical use to aid in the diagnosis of acute respiratory syncytial viral infections. Ideally, users should confirm a negative result with cell culture; however, such test results are not indicative of infection and do not necessitate any further action regarding management or treatment plans. This test is suitable for professionals as well as laboratories operating with clinical expertise in this area.
What Is RSV Test Used For?
The RSV test is typically used to detect whether it is the cause of moderate to severe cold symptoms in infants, older adults, and individuals with compromised immune systems. While mild cases may be detected when part of public health initiatives for monitoring the spread of the virus, seasonal variations exist in determining when an outbreak occurs. The viral culture most likely takes place in flu season (Autumn – Spring)
Why Do You Need an RSV test?
Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, is a common virus that affects the respiratory system and can cause mild to severe illness in infants and young children. An RSV test is used to detect the presence of the virus in the body, allowing healthcare providers to diagnose and treat it before serious complications develop.
RSV testing is especially important for young children, premature babies, those with weakened immune systems, and those with chronic lung or heart disease because they are at higher risk of developing severe complications from an RSV infection. Early diagnosis and treatment of an RSV infection can prevent more serious health problems from developing.
How Do You Test For RSV?
Your doctor will listen to your lungs and breathing using a stethoscope to check for wheezing or abnormal sounds. However, this individually won’t prove whether you have the virus or not.
Imaging and laboratory tests can be carried out to help diagnose RSV, although it isn’t necessary. Your healthcare provider performs these tests:
1. Blood test – To check white cell counts or to look for viruses, bacteria, or other pathogens.
2. Chest X-Rays – To check for signs of lung inflammation or mucus disposition
3. Using oral or nasal swabs – To collect secretions from inside your mouth or nose and send them for testing.
4. Pulse oximetry – It is a type of skin monitor that is used to detect oxygen levels in the blood. Lower than normal level usually signifies there is an infection.
5. Antigen testing – This is to check for the presence of RSV antibodies in your blood.
6. RT-PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test – This test looks for genetic material from the RSV virus in your sample.
How Do They Check Children for RSV?
Your child’s physician may order a nasal swab test to verify if they have RSV or another viral infection. Additionally, an X-ray and/or oxygen saturation test could be done to review lung congestion. Even though most children will ultimately recover without any issues; as such, these tests are not often necessary in treating RSV because there is no remedy for it yet!
Treatment For Rapid RSV
Your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) for fever. Nasal saline drops and suctioning may also help treat a congested nose. In some cases, antibiotics can also help alleviate the symptoms.
However, if the infection is severe, you may need to stay in the hospital. These treatments can improve your medical condition –
- IV fluids
- Ventilation (breathing machine)
- Humidified oxygen
- An inhaler or steroids, although they are not proven to be helpful in treating RSV infection
The Link Between RSV & COVID-19
Since RSV and Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are both respiratory illnesses, the symptoms of these viruses can be comparable. For children, COVID-19 often manifests as mild ailments such as fever, mucous discharge, and cough – though more severe manifestations may occur in adults with this virus, such as impaired breathing patterns.
Having RSV may impair immunity and increase vulnerability to developing COVID-19 infections in both children and adults. In addition, these ailments sometimes occur simultaneously – leading to a more severe course of COVID-19 illness.
If you are suffering from symptoms of a respiratory infection, your physician may recommend COVID-19 testing.