Respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-uhl) virus, or RSV, is a respiratory virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages. Healthy people usually experience mild, cold-like symptoms and recover in a week or two. But RSV can be serious, especially for infants 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 younger than 1 year of age in the United States. In addition, RSV is being recognized more often as a significant cause of respiratory illness in older adults.
Have more questions? See About RSV.
About RSVDescribes the disease, its symptoms, treatment, how it spreads, prevention, and common patterns of infection in children
For Healthcare ProfessionalsInformation on clinical features, case management, diagnosis, laboratory testing, and prophylaxis for those at risk for severe illness
Research & SurveillanceInformation about seasonal trends, surveillance for RSV activity, prevention of RSV in Alaskan Natives, and a brief history of RSV
MultimediaRSV web feature and podcast, and infographic that can be embedded on web pages
References & ResourcesSelected scientific articles related to RSV
- Page last reviewed: November 4, 2014
- Page last updated: December 4, 2014
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