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No, homemade remedies using herbs or over-the-counter products are not sufficient to treat RSV

As cases for Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, are rising across the country, many people are turning to home remedies, against the advice of doctors.


Hospitals across the country and here in Memphis are strained from cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus infections or RSV and doctors say it'll only get worse in the coming months.

RSV has cold-like symptoms, causing inflammation of the small airways in the lungs and possibly even infection of the lungs. It is most common in young children. 

The virus has caused many to turn to home remedies such as herbs, sea salt, baking soda, and over-the-counter products such as Nyquil to treat themselves and their loved ones. 


Are homemade remedies using herbs or over-the-counter drugs effective in preventing or treating RSV?


Dr. Sandra Arnold, Chief of Pediatric and Infectious Disease at Le Bonheur Hospital in Memphis

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)



This is false.

No, there are currently no known treatments for RSV. 


“There are no known treatments that are available for RSV," said Dr. Sandra Arnold of Le Bonheur Hospital, “These are not medicines that you should be giving to young children." 

Dr. Arnold said that she wouldn't recommend giving over-the-counter decongestants to children and that, while they may relieve symptoms for a short time, the risks outweigh the benefits. 

RELATED: RSV and the flu is hitting kids hard. Here's how to keep the young ones healthy

While there are no known treatments, Dr. Arnold said that parents can take steps to prevent infection. 

“Older children, you want them to be eating a good diet," Dr. Arnold said. "If all they’re eating are the sort of typical toddler carbs like macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets then they’re not getting a good mix of vitamins and minerals.”   

RELATED: RSV cases and child hospitalizations rising in the Mid-South

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