Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV)
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Overview
Respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-uhl) virus, or RSV, is a respiratory virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages. Most otherwise healthy people recover from RSV infection in 1 to 2 weeks. However, infection can be severe in some people, such as certain infants, young children, and older adults. In fact, RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia in children under 1 year of age in the United States. In addition, RSV is more often being recognized as an important cause of respiratory illness in older adults.
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Learn about Respiratory Syncytial Virus
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a contagious viral disease that can lead to serious health problems—especially for young children and older adults.
- Almost all children will be infected with RSV by their second birthday.
- RSV causes respiratory illness in infants and young children, and is the most important cause of bronchiolitis.
- In the U.S., RSV infections generally occur during fall, winter, and early spring.
More on Infection and Incidence
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Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
CDC Featured Podcast
Dr. Eileen Schneider talks about a common cause of respiratory illness in young children.
Listen To This Podcast (4:22)