Respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-uhl) virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most people 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 (infection of the lungs) in children younger than 1 year of age in the United States. It is also a significant cause of respiratory illness in older adults.
Have more questions? See About RSV.
About RSVSymptoms, caring for someone sick with RSV, how RSV spreads, and how you can help prevent infection
Healthcare ProfessionalsClinical features, RSV management, diagnosis, laboratory testing, and prophylaxis for patients at high risk for severe illness
Research & SurveillanceSeasonal trends, surveillance for RSV activity, prevention of RSV in Alaskan Natives, and a brief history of RSV
MultimediaRSV web feature, podcast, and infographic that can be embedded on web pages
References & ResourcesSelected scientific articles related to RSV
- Page last reviewed: March 7, 2017
- Page last updated: March 7, 2017
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