In response to a seasonal increase in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases in children in Missouri, MU Health Care has opened a dedicated clinic to help care for kids who are sick with respiratory tract infections. This referral-only outpatient clinic is open 24/7. It is not an alternative for the Emergency Department. If your child is having trouble breathing or showing signs of severe symptoms, go to the Emergency Department.
If your child is 3 years old or younger and has been diagnosed by a medical provider with RSV, viral bronchiolitis, viral pneumonia or viral lower respiratory infection, ask your child’s doctor if a referral to our clinic is indicated and would be helpful to you. Once you have been referred, you’ll receive information including the clinic location and a phone number to schedule your visit.
Families who receive referrals to the respiratory outpatient clinic can return for care as often as needed for up to seven days. After calling ahead to schedule a visit time, your child will be seen by a respiratory therapist who will assess the severity of your child’s symptoms and either:
- Provide pediatric respiratory treatments and clear nasal passages with suction
- Refer you to the Emergency Department to be seen by a doctor in severe cases
Children are not eligible for the respiratory outpatient clinic if they are more than 3 years old, or if they have one of the following conditions:
- Chronic lung diseases, including asthma
- Cystic fibrosis
- Congenital heart disease
- Neuromuscular disease
- Abnormal airway anatomy
RSV is a serious diagnosis in young children because their immune systems are weaker and because RSV makes it easier for them to become dehydrated. In most cases, children without preexisting conditions affecting their heart or lungs who are more than 3 years old can recover at home.