Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV
) is a virus that causes respiratory infections. It is very contagious, and it is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the bronchioles within the lungs) and pneumonia
among infants and children under one year of age. When a person is infected with the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the symptoms can vary.
For infants, illness begins most frequently with symptoms that include:
- Runny nose
During their first RSV infection, between 25 percent and 40 percent of infants and young children have signs or symptoms of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) or pneumonia, and 0.5 percent to 2 percent require hospitalization. The majority of children hospitalized for an RSV infection are under six months of age. Most children recover from RSV in 8 to 15 days.
RSV can cause repeated infections throughout life. In adults, symptoms of RSV are similar to those of the common cold