Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a common, contagious seasonal pathogen that will infect nearly all babies by their second birthday. (1-3) RSV is the most common cause of lower respiratory tract infections, such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia, and a leading cause of hospitalizations in infants. (4-7)
Young family enjoying their time by the lake - © GettyImagesYoung family enjoying their time by the lake - © GettyImages

Did You Know?

Most hospitalizations occur in otherwise healthy infants born at term.(8,9)

90% of children are infected with RSV in the first two years of life.

Common symptoms of RSV-related illness can include: cough, runny nose, decrease in appetite, wheezing

RSV season typically occurs from Autumn through Spring in temperate regions

A Parent’s Perspective

Sanne's RSV story

Sanne, the mother of a child hospitalized from Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), shares her story.

Dina and Winnie’s RSV Story

Hear from Dina, a US parent of three, as she shares the story of her young infant contracting respiratory syncytial virus, often known as RSV.


May 9, 2022

Advancing the Science of RSV

May 13, 2021

Infants Need Protection Against RSV: Charting a Path Beyond COVID

October 1, 2020

Understanding the need for RSV protection in all infants


  1. Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV): Infants and Young Children. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed June 2021.
  2. Glezen WP et al. Risk of primary infection and reinfection with respiratory syncytial virus. Am J Dis Child. 1986;140:543-546
  3. Collins et al. Host Factors in Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus Pathogenesis. Journal of Virology. 2008:2040–2055
  4. Karron RA Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccines. Plotkin SA, Orenstein WA, Offit PA, Edwards KM, eds Plotkin’s Vaccines 7th ed Philadelphia. 2018;7th ed. Philadelphia:943-9.
  5. Shi T, McAllister DA, O'Brien KL, et al; RSV Global Epidemiology Network. Global, regional, and national disease burden estimates of acute lower respiratory infections due to respiratory syncytial virus in young children in 2015: a systematic review and modelling study. Lancet. 2017;390(10098):946-958
  6. Leader S, Kohlhase K. Respiratory syncytial virus-coded pediatric hospitalizations, 1997 to 1999. The Pediatric infectious disease journal. 2002;21(7):629-32.
  7. McLaurin KK, Farr AM, Wade SW, Diakun DR, Stewart DL. Respiratory syncytial virus hospitalization outcomes and costs of full-term and preterm infants. Journal of perinatology : official journal of the California Perinatal Association. 2016;36(11):990-6.
  8. Arriola CS, Kim L, Langley G, Anderson EJ, Openo K, Martin AM, et al. Estimated Burden of Community-Onset Respiratory Syncytial Virus-Associated Hospitalizations Among Children Aged <2 Years in the United States, 2014-15. Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. 2020;9(5):587-95.
  9. Rha B, Curns AT, Lively JY, Campbell AP, Englund JA, Boom JA, et al. Respiratory Syncytial Virus-Associated Hospitalizations Among Young Children: 2015-2016. Pediatrics. 2020;146(1).
  10. Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV): Symptoms and Care. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. . Accessed June 2021.