Just the Facts! (Respiratory Health)

Important things to know!

RSV (respiratory syncytial virus)

What is it?

Common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms

Common symptoms?

 A person infected usually shows symptoms within 4 to 6 days, which can include runny nose, decrease in appetite, coughing, sneezing, fever, and wheezing, which usually appear in stages.  

How is it transmitted?

People infected with RSV are usually contagious for 3 to 8 days and may become contagious a day or two before they start showing symptoms.

It can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes, when one has direct contact with the virus, or when one touches a surface that has the virus on it and then touches their face.

Who does it primarily affect?

Infants and older adults.

Is there a vaccine?

No, but most infections go away on their own.

What other prevention steps can you take for RSV?

 Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue or your upper shirt sleeve. Wash your hands often with soap and water. Avoid close contact with others, and clean frequently touched surfaces. Parents should also help their children by limiting the time they spend in childcare centers or other potentially contagious settings during high periods of RSV activity.

Is there anything else I should know about RSV?

RSV is the most common cause of bronchitis and pneumonia in children younger than 1 year of age in the United States.

New National Respiratory Virus Dashboard:

Click here to view the new national respiratory virus dashboard launched by the CDC that allows the public to view the levels of COVID-19, flu, and RSV in each state.