Do you have a child experiencing a runny nose or fever? At first glance, you might think it’s just the typical flu virus.

However, according to a news article, hospitals and urgent care centers in California are experiencing an influx of patients (mostly children) with respiratory illness caused by another virus: the respiratory syncytial virus or RSV.

Like the flu and COVID-19, RSV is a common respiratory virus that causes mild cold-like symptoms. In most cases, the virus doesn’t cause severe illnesses, but if you have an infant child, it can cause severe lung complications like bronchiolitis and pneumonia.

So, as a parent, what should you know about this virus?

What are the RSV signs and symptoms, especially in infants? Is RSV highly contagious? How can you prevent your children, especially if you have an infant, from getting infected? And if your children get an RSV infection, what are their treatment options?

This article will answer these questions and explain what you should know about RSV.

What is RSV, and what are its risks to infants?

RSV is a common respiratory virus that causes mild cold-like symptoms. In the United States, the virus generally emerges in the fall and peaks in the winter, coinciding with the flu season; it can also vary in different parts of the country.

According to CDC, almost all children will get an RSV infection after their second birthday, and most individuals infected with RSV recover in a week or two. But if you have an infant child infected with the virus, it can cause severe lung illnesses. In the United States, this virus is the most common cause of lung infections in babies younger than one year.

Others who are also at risk are:

  • Premature babies
  • Young children and adults with weakened immune systems and chronic diseases
  • Older adults with certain medical conditions

Is RSV highly contagious?

Yes – RSV is highly contagious. It spreads through virus droplets from coughing or sneezing, direct contact with someone infected, and touching one’s face after coming in contact with a contaminated object (like a doorknob or toys).

According to the CDC, people with RSV infection are contagious for three to eight days, but they may also spread the virus a day or two before showing symptoms. In addition, some infants and people with weakened immune systems can be contagious for as long as four weeks, even after they stop showing signs.
The virus can also survive many hours on hard surfaces but typically lives on soft surfaces for shorter amounts of time.

What are the RSV signs and symptoms, especially in infants?

RSV symptoms in infants typically start with a cold, which may be followed by bronchiolitis or pneumonia. In healthy children and adults, RSV infection may also cause similar cold symptoms, but they are usually mild.
These symptoms, which start to show within four to six days of infection, include:

  • Fever
  • Runny nose and congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing (dry or wet)
  • Mild headache
  • Sneezing
  • Decrease in appetite or poor feeding in infants

It’s important to note that RSV symptoms do not always appear in infants. The only symptoms in your infant child may be irritability, decreased activity, wheezing, and breathing difficulties.

What should you do if your infant child has an RSV infection?

If you suspect your infant child has an RSV infection, visit your nearest urgent care centre.

Our urgent care centers can treat symptoms like cough, runny nose, or sore throat for those from Lincoln, CA or Granite Bay, CA. Services for respiratory problems such as asthma, breathing difficulty, and pneumonia are also available.

There is no specific treatment yet against the virus, but preventive vaccines are currently being developed. A drug called palivizumab is also available to prevent severe RSV illness in infants and children at high risk for severe diseases (CDC). However, while the drug can help prevent serious illnesses from RSV, it cannot prevent an infection or treat an existing one.

In most cases, the virus usually goes away on its own, and recovery takes about a week or two.
If your child shows mild symptoms, you can do the following for relief:

  • Give lots of fluids and frequent feedings.
  • Use nasal saline and a cool-mist humidifier to allow easier breathing.
  • Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen to children older than six months to help with slight fevers. Avoid giving aspirin, as well as cough and cold medications.

How can I prevent my children from getting an RSV infection?

While it’s impossible to avoid the virus entirely, there are ways you can try to protect your children from getting an RSV infection:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and teach your children to make this a habit.
  • Clean surfaces in your home, especially those that are often touched by children.
  • Avoid touching your children’s faces with your unwashed hands
  • Get vaccinated – keep your children’s immunization updated and get your family’s annual flu shots.

Daycare centres and schools are typically contagious during RSV season, so you may want to limit the time your infant child spends in these places.

If you’re from Lincoln, CA or Granite Bay, CA, our urgent care centers provide flu shots and vaccinations to protect you and your family against viruses.


Sore throat. Runny nose. Headache. Fever.

If you are experiencing any of these, you might ask yourself, “Are these flu symptoms or Omicron symptoms?”

Our answer is that it could be either.

And now you’re wondering, “If this is Omicron, is it more or less dangerous than the prior COVID-19 variants? Should I be more concerned?”

In this article, we are going to answer these questions.

What Do We Know About Omicron?

Since the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 in 2020, multiple COVID-19 variants have emerged. Variants are the results of mutations occurring naturally in viruses. Since viruses constantly mutate, new variants arise continuously. Some disappear, while others persist.

Compared to the earlier COVID-19 variants, Omicron continues to persist and is the dominant variant in the U.S. and even globally, according to the World Health Organization.

But how does it differ from the other variants? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Omicron is said to spread more easily. Those infected can spread the virus more quickly to others, regardless of vaccination status or even though they show no symptoms of Omicron.

So, should you worry more about this variant?

Omicron generally causes less severe disease than the prior variants, as preliminary data from the CDC suggests. However, some people may still experience severe illness, may need hospitalization, and could die from the infection. This is why taking the necessary steps to protect ourselves and others is still important.

If you are from Lincoln, CA, or Granite Bay, CA, and experiencing possible Omicron symptoms, our urgent care centers offer COVID-19 testing.

Signs and Symptoms of Omicron

The signs and symptoms of Omicron are similar to those of COVID-19, which are:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

These symptoms may appear between 2-14 days after exposure to someone infected. People infected with Omicron may experience a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. The severity depends on your vaccination status, age, history of prior infection, and the presence of other health issues. You are also likely to show symptoms of Omicron even if you have previously tested positive in the past.

What Should I Do If I Have the Symptoms of Omicron?

If you start to feel any symptoms of Omicron, isolate immediately and get tested. PCR testing in our urgent care centers can give results between 2-3 days. While waiting for your results, stay home and wear a well-fitted mask around others. You can also order free at-home test kits from, but you will have to wait 7-14 days for the test kits to arrive.

Don’t want to wait that long?

If you’re from Lincoln, CA, or Granite Bay, CA, you can visit our urgent care centers or book a COVID-19 Omicron testing. Our Rapid COVID-19 Antigen or PCR Test can give you results in as little as 30 minutes.

What Should I Do if I Tested Positive?

If you test positive, whether or not you show symptoms of Omicron, you must stay home for five days (vaccinated or not). You should also isolate yourself from others inside your home. If this is not possible, wear a well-fitted mask.

Symptoms of Omicron usually last a couple of weeks. But those who have long COVID-19 symptoms may experience health problems for four or more weeks after being infected, according to CDC.

For those with mild symptoms, our doctors recommend the following home treatments:

  • Use medications for fever and pains such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen;
  • Take a cough syrup and decongestant medicine to ease coughing or nasal congestion;
  • Drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy foods, and rest well.

According to CDC, you may end your isolation after five full days if:

  • you no longer have a fever for 24 hours (without taking fever-reducing medicine);
  • and your symptoms are improving.

If you did not have Omicron symptoms but tested positive, you may end isolation after five full days from the day of your test.

After your isolation, CDC recommends that you take the following precaution for another five days:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask when you are around others inside your home or in public.
  • Do not travel for the full 10 days after your symptoms or the date you tested positive if you had no symptoms.
  • Avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, such as elderlies or those with serious health problems.

What if My Symptoms Worsen?

While Omicron is said to be less likely to cause severe diseases such as pneumonia, some infected people may still be hospitalized or die from the infection. Call or visit our clinic immediately if you or your loved ones are experiencing severe symptoms of Omicron.

Our urgent care centers at Lincoln, CA, and Granite Bay, CA, provide various on-site medical services for acute illness and minor respiratory distress.

If this is your case and you get very sick from COVID-19 or have a weakened immune system, the CDC advises you to isolate yourself for at least 10 days. Make sure to consult your doctor before ending isolation.

How Can I Protect Myself From Omicron?

Preliminary evidence suggests that vaccines are less effective against the spread of Omicron. But vaccines still protect well against serious illnesses such as hospitalization.

For those fully vaccinated, symptoms of Omicron tend to be mild. On the other hand, unvaccinated people may experience quite severe symptoms.

It’s also essential to keep our immune system in check. Our urgent care centers at Lincoln, CA, and Granite Bay, CA, offer routine medical care services to ensure that you and your loved ones are in your best shape.


Lincoln Urgent Care and Granite Bay Urgent Care are full-service urgent care centers with onsite x-ray and laboratory testing. Our team is dedicated to providing patients with affordable and timely care for their urgent care needs.

Lincoln Urgent Care
77 Lincoln Boulevard Suite 1
Lincoln, CA 95648
Phone: (916) 258-2751
Fax: (916) 258-7172

Granite Bay Urgent Care
5290 Douglas Blvd
Suite 102
Granite Bay, CA 95746
Phone: (916) 570-7265
Fax: (916) 200-2412

As your trusted urgent care clinic, we would like to notify our patients about the Open Payments database put in place by the Medical Board of California as of January 1, 2023.

The federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act requires that detailed information about payment and other payments of value worth over ten dollars ($10) from manufacturers of drugs, medical devices, and biologics to physicians and teaching hospitals be made available to the public.

The Open Payments database is a national transparency program that collects and publishes information about financial relationships between drug and medical device companies and certain healthcare providers.

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