Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes mild, cold-like symptoms in adults and older healthy children. It can cause serious problems in young babies, including pneumonia and severe breathing problems. Premature babies and those with other health problems have the highest risk. A child with RSV may have a fever, stuffy nose, cough, and trouble breathing. Lab tests can tell if your child has the virus. There is no specific treatment. You should give your child fluids to prevent dehydration. If needed, you can also give a pain reliever (not aspirin) for fever and headache.
RSV easily spreads from person to person. You can get it from direct contact with someone who has it or by touching infected objects such as toys or surfaces such as countertops. Washing your hands often and not sharing eating and drinking utensils are simple ways to help prevent the spread of RSV infection. There is currently no vaccine for RSV.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Bronchiolitis and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (American Medical Association) - PDF
- Frequently Asked Questions about Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus (Nemours Foundation) Available in Spanish
- Understanding RSV (American Lung Association)
- Protecting Your Baby from RSV (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV): Transmission and Prevention (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Treatments and Therapies
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV): Treatment (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)
Statistics and Research
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in Diverse Communities 2010 (American Lung Association) - PDF
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV): Trends and Surveillance (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV): Infection and Incidence (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Bronchiolitis (National Institutes of Health)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Continuous positive airway pressure with helmet versus mask in infants...
- Article: Palivizumab epitope-displaying virus-like particles protect rodents from RSV challenge.
- Article: Challenges and opportunities in developing respiratory syncytial virus therapeutics.
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections -- see more articles