Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Infection
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.
Symptoms, caring for someone sick with RSV, how RSV spreads, and how you can help prevent infection
Overview of the people at high risk for severe RSV infection
Clinical features, RSV management, diagnosis, laboratory testing, and prophylaxis for patients at high risk for severe illness
Seasonal trends, surveillance for RSV activity, and information about a program to prevent RSV in Alaskan Natives
RSV fact sheet, web feature, podcast, and infographic that can be embedded on web pages
Selected scientific articles related to RSV
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- Almost all children will be infected with RSV by their second birthday.
- RSV usually causes mild respiratory illness, but it can be serious, especially in infants and older adults.
- RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children younger than 1 year of age.
- In the U.S., RSV infections generally occur during fall, winter, and spring.
Dr. Eileen Schneider talks about RSV, a common cause of respiratory illness in young children.
Listen To This Podcast (4:22)