Symptoms of RSV can be similar to a common cold, flu or COVID-19:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Congestion (runny nose)
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Decrease in appetite

For very young infants with RSV, the only symptoms may be:

  • Irritability
  • Less activity
  • Difficulty breathing

Most people who get RSV have mild symptoms and recover within 1 or 2 weeks.

Who Is at Risk for Serious Illness From RSV

Infants and older adults are at the greatest risk for severe illness and complications from RSV, including hospitalization.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in children in the U.S. who are under the age of 1, RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia. These infections of the lungs can cause severe inflammation.

Prevention of RSV

Adults may get a vaccine to help protect them from RSV. The RSV vaccine is usually available between September and January.

  • Vaccination against RSV is recommended for some people age 60 or older who have health conditions that put them at high risk for severe illness. Talk to a member of your healthcare team to see if the vaccine is right for you.
  • Vaccination also is recommended for people who are pregnant. Getting the vaccine between your 32nd and 36th week of pregnancy can help protect your baby.
  • Vaccination is recommended for all infants under 8 months during RSV season if their mother wasn’t vaccinated between 32 and 36 weeks gestation. It is recommended for infants 8 to 19 months old who have high risk conditions.

Some infants and children younger than 2 may benefit from an RSV antibody immunization, as supply allows. The immunization is a shot that provides antibodies to help a child’s immune system fight the virus.

To learn more about RSV prevention options, talk to a member of your healthcare team. Or, visit the CDC RSV prevention page.

Learn more  about protection against RSV.