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Coronavirus Update: What patients and families need to know

Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Key Points about Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

  • RSV is a viral illness that causes trouble breathing. It is more common in winter and early spring months.
  • Most babies have been infected at least once by the time they are 2 years old. Babies can also be re-infected with the virus. Infection can happen again anytime throughout life.
  • Treatment for RSV may include extra oxygen. This is extra oxygen given through a mask, nasal prongs or an oxygen tent. A child who is very ill may need to be put on a breathing machine (ventilator) to help with breathing.
  • In high-risk babies, RSV can lead to severe respiratory illness and pneumonia. This may become life-threatening. RSV as a baby may be linked to asthma later in childhood.
  • Babies at high risk for RSV receive a medicine called palivizumab. Ask your child's healthcare provider if your child is at high risk for RSV.
  • What is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)?
  • What causes RSV in children?
  • Which children are at risk for RSV?
  • What are the symptoms of RSV in children?
  • How is RSV diagnosed in children?
  • How is RSV treated in children?
  • What are possible complications of RSV in children?
  • How can I help prevent RSV in my child?
  • When should I call my child's health care provider?