Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is being seen earlier than usual and is hitting the pediatric population harder than normal with increased hospitalizations. Although is not exactly clear why RSV has been surging, there are some theories that it started with pandemic restrictions, which reduced kids' and parents' exposure to the virus over the past few years. So now, more kids are susceptible since their immune systems have not been exposed. In addition to RSV, there is also rhinovirus and enterovirus, at higher levels than usual.

Symptoms of RSV infection usually include:

  • Runny nose
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Wheezing

In young infants sometimes the only symptoms are irritability, decreased activity levels, and difficulty breathing. (CDC, 2022)

Prevention of RSV is by covering the mouth and nose when coughing, washing your hands for at least 20 seconds per the CDC, avoiding touching surfaces such as doorknobs, and railings, or washing hands afterward or using hand sanitizer. RSV survives on surfaces for several hours. It can survive on a stethoscope for 6 hours, a non-porous surface for 12 hours and the hands for over 30 minutes (Eiland 2009).  People with the virus can be contagious for up to 8 days

CDC RSV in Infants and Young Children Resource




Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, October 28). RSV in infants and Young Children. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved November 22, 2022, from 

Eiland L. S. (2009). Respiratory syncytial virus: diagnosis, treatment and preventionThe Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics: JPPT: the official journal of PPAG14(2), 75–85.   

RSV Resources