What is RSV?

According to the CDC, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a very contagious virus that can lead to serious respiratory illness for infants.1 Together, with caregivers and families, we'll rally together using valuable information that helps to raise awareness about what RSV is, as well as its symptoms and impact.

Infant Hospitalization Statistic

RSV is the leading cause of hospitalization in infants under 12 months.2

According to a study conducted between 1997 and 2000.

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Know The Facts:

RSV Symptoms & Safety:

According to the CDC, RSV causes a variety of symptoms depending on severity.5 Symptoms of RSV can include runny nose, decrease in appetite, coughing, sneezing, fever, wheezing.5

Let’s Rally Against RSV by taking control and doing our part. Help protect ALL infants from RSV by frequent hand washing, disinfecting surfaces and toys. If you have cold-like symptoms, avoid kissing and touching babies with unwashed hands as well as sharing utensils. Avoid close contact with people who are ill.6

Know the Risk:

Many people understand the threat that influenza (the flu) poses to infants, however, less are aware of the threat of RSV. See below to learn more about how RSV compares to the flu:

Infants under 1 year of age are on average 16x more likely to be hospitalized due to RSV than for influenza.7

According to a US study that took place from 1993-2008.

Although death is not common for either virus, RSV causes 10x the deaths in infants compared to the flu.8

Although not common in the US, according to CDC estimates, used in a study conducted from 1990-1999, RSV causes 3.1 deaths per 100,000 infants younger than 1 year, compared to 0.3 from the flu.

In infants, RSV causes about 5x the medical visits compared to the flu.9

According to a study conducted in 2006 – 2010 of children enrolled with acute respiratory illness, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was positive for RSV in 2,927 cases and positive for flu in 594 cases.

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* According to the CDC

  1. RSV in Infants and Young Children. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/high-risk/infants-young-children.html. Published 2021. Accessed December 6, 2021.
  2. Leader S, Kohlhase K. Recent trends in severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) among US infants, 1997 to 2000. J Pediatr. 2003;143(5):127-132. doi:10.1067/s0022-3476(03)00510-9.
  3. Arriola C, Kim L. Estimated Burden of Community-Onset Respiratory Syncytial Virus-Associated Hospitalizations Among Children Aged < 2 Years in the United States 2014-15. J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc 9, 587–595 (2020).
  4. Staadegaard L, Caini S, Wangchuk S, et al. Defining the seasonality of respiratory syncytial virus around the world: National and subnational surveillance data from 12 countries. Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2021;15(6):732-741. doi:10.1111/irv.12885.
  5. Symptoms and Care. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/about/symptoms.html. Published 2021. Accessed December 1, 2021.
  6. RSV Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/about/prevention.html. Published 2021. Accessed December 1, 2021.
  7. Zhou H, Thompson WW, Viboud CG, et al. Hospitalizations associated with influenza and respiratory syncytial virus in the United States, 1993-2008. Clin Infect Dis. 2012;54(10):1427-1436. doi:10.1093/cid/cis211.
  8. Thompson WW, Shay DK, Weintraub E, et al. Mortality associated with influenza and respiratory syncytial virus in the United States. JAMA. 2003;289(2):179-186. doi:10.1001/jama.289.2.179.
  9. Simpson MD, Kieke BA Jr, Sundaram ME, et al. Incidence of Medically Attended Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Influenza Illnesses in Children 6-59 Months Old During Four Seasons. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2016;3(2):ofw081. Published 2016 Apr 21. doi:10.1093/ofid/ofw081.
  10. Rainisch G, Adhikari B, Meltzer MI, Langley G. Estimating the impact of multiple immunization products on medically-attended respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections in infants. Vaccine. 2020;38(2):251-257. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.10.023.
  11. Glezen WP, Taber LH, Frank AL, Kasel JA. Risk of primary infection and reinfection with respiratory syncytial virus. Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(6):543-546. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140200053026