RSV NOTICE – Advice from Wairarapa DHB

12 July 2021

Wairarapa DHB advises:

If adults or children develop concerning symptoms, such as rapid breathing, difficulty breathing, chest pain, severe vomiting, or if a child is not responding or is difficult to wake up, they should seek medical attention immediately – including calling 111 for an ambulance if it is an emergency.

Currently a lot of pre-school children in the Wellington region are unwell. At this time of year respiratory viruses including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are common in the community and illnesses can be easily spread in schools and early childhood centres. Adults and older children get milder RSV illness but can pass it on to babies so we strongly recommend that people maintain good hand hygiene and stay home if they have any symptoms of a respiratory tract illness

Respiratory viruses cause the following symptoms: fever (temperature ≥38°C or feeling hot, sweaty, and chills), cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache and fatigue/ tiredness, and sometimes diarrhoea and vomiting especially with small children.

If you are worried about your child’s symptoms or if your child has long-term health problems (e.g. asthma, diabetes, kidney, heart or immunity problems), then you should phone your family doctor or Healthline 0800 611 116 for further advice. Most people recover at home and only see their doctor if the illness gets worse or is not improving.


Winter respiratory illness symptoms can be similar to COVID-19 symptoms. Children under 11 years of age are not routinely tested for COVID-19 UNLESS the child:

  • has been in contact with a COVID-19 case
  • returned from a place where there is COVID-19
  • left managed isolation in the last 14 days
  • or the doctor is concerned that the child has COVID-19.

Adults and teens with relevant respiratory symptoms DO require COIVD-19 testing if they have a respiratory illness. Call Healthline for free on 0800 611 116 for further advice on COVID-19 testing.

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