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All about respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection causes of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection signs and symptoms of RSV infection complications of RSV infection risk factors for RSV infection diagnosis of RSV infection treatment for RSV infection prevention of RSV infection

What is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection?

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a very common virus that causes mild cold-like symptoms in adults and older healthy children. It can cause serious respiratory infections in young babies, especially those born prematurely, who have heart or

lung disease, or who are immunocompromised. RSV is a negative-sense, enveloped RNA virus. The virion is variable in shape and size (average diameter of between 120 nm and 300 nm), is unstable in the environment (surviving only a few hours on environmental surfaces), and is readily inactivated with soap and water and disinfectants. RSV is spread from respiratory secretions through close contact with infected persons or contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. Infection can occur when infectious material contacts mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth or nose, and possibly through the inhalation of droplets generated by a sneeze or cough. In temperate climates, RSV infections usually occur during annual community outbreaks, often lasting four to six months during the late fall, winter or early spring months. The timing and severity of outbreaks in a community vary from year to year. RSV spreads efficiently among children during the annual outbreaks, and most children will have serologoic evidence of RSV infection by 2 years of age. In adults and older, healthy children, the signs and symptoms of the infection typically mimic the common cold. However, RSV is the leading cause of serious respiratory infection in infants and children. It may be severe and may require hospitalization, especially in infants under 6 months of age, children with underlying conditions - such as congenital heart or lung disease - and children who were born prematurely.

More information on respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection

What is the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)? - Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a very common virus that causes mild cold-like symptoms in adults and older healthy children.
What causes respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection? - Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a virus that attacks the mucous membranes of people's respiratory tracts.
What're the signs and symptoms of RSV infection? - Signs and symptoms of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection include stuffy nose, cough, and sometimes ear infection.
What complications can result from RSV infection? - A person with a first RSV infection can develop severe breathing problems that need to be managed in the hospital.
Who is at risk for RSV infection? - Very young infants, and children with underlying lung, heart, or immune system problems are at high risk for severe RSV disease.
How is RSV infection diagnosed? - Diagnosis of RSV infection can be made by virus isolation, detection of viral antigens, detection of viral RNA.
What is the treatment for RSV infection? - Most people with mild RSV infections get better without treatment. RSV antibody and ribavirin to treat patients with compromised immune systems.
How can RSV infection be prevented? - RSV transmission can and should be prevented by strict attention to contact precautions, such as hand washing and wearing gowns and gloves.
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005