Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a common viral infection that can affect the respiratory tract. It can cause mild, cold-like symptoms in healthy adults and older children, but can be more serious in infants and young children.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus FAQ


What are the common symptoms of RSV?

Common symptoms of RSV include cough, runny nose, fever, and wheezing.

Who is at high risk for severe RSV infection?

Infants, young children, older adults, and individuals with weakened immune systems are at high risk for severe RSV infection.

How is RSV treated?

Treatment for RSV is generally aimed at relieving symptoms. In severe cases, hospitalization may be required.

Can RSV be prevented?

Preventive measures such as hand hygiene, avoiding close contact with sick individuals, and keeping the environment clean can help reduce the risk of RSV transmission.

Is RSV contagious?

Yes, RSV is highly contagious and can spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Is there a vaccine for RSV?

Currently, there is no widely available vaccine for RSV, but ongoing research is being conducted.

Can adults get infected with RSV?

Yes, adults can get infected with RSV, but the symptoms are often mild and similar to the common cold.

How long does RSV typically last?

In most cases, RSV symptoms improve within 7 to 14 days, but recovery may take longer in some individuals.

What complications can RSV cause?

In severe cases, RSV can lead to pneumonia or bronchiolitis, especially in young children and older adults.

Is there a specific test for diagnosing RSV?

Yes, a rapid molecular respiratory test or a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) test can be used to diagnose RSV infection.

Can pregnant women pass RSV to their babies?

Yes, pregnant women can pass RSV to their newborns, and the infants are at a higher risk for severe illness.

Is RSV a seasonal virus?

Yes, RSV is more common in the fall, winter, and spring months, with peak outbreaks occurring during the colder seasons.

Are there any long-term effects of RSV infection?

In some cases, RSV infection in early childhood can lead to long-term respiratory problems such as asthma.

What should I do if my child has RSV symptoms?

If your child has symptoms of RSV, consult a healthcare professional for appropriate evaluation and management.

Can RSV cause death?

Although rare, RSV can lead to death, especially in high-risk individuals or those with weakened immune systems.

Is there any specific treatment for RSV?

Antiviral medications may be used in severe cases of RSV, but there is no specific cure for the infection.

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