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Respiratory syncytial virus What we need to know


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes an infectious process of the respiratory tract. It is a widespread virus and affects both children (under 2 years old), adults and the elderly.

The disease proceeds with symptoms of a banal "cold", although sometimes it takes a more severe form, especially in children under 1 year old, premature infants, the elderly, patients with heart-lung diseases and in conditions of marked immunodeficiency.



The respiratory syncytial virus is spread in the environment by air droplets during coughing and sneezing of the patient and enters the body through the eyes, nose or mouth. The virus is also transmitted through direct contact - during a kiss or handshake.

The virus lives on hard surfaces and toys for several hours. Infection occurs as a result of contact with the eyes, nose and mouth of virus-contaminated hands.

An infected person is contagious (spreads the infection) for an average of one week after the illness. In children and immunocompromised persons, the spread of infection is possible even within 2-3 weeks after the end of symptoms.



The symptoms of respiratory syncytial virus infection are not much different from those of a typical cold or flu. The clinical manifestation of the disease begins 4-6 days after contact with the virus and includes such manifestations as:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • dry cough
  • Subfebrile fever
  • Sore throat
  • headache

These symptoms develop gradually and not all at once. In infants, the disease may be manifested only by irritability, decreased activity and difficulty breathing.

In severe cases, respiratory syncytial virus spreads to the lower respiratory tract and causes bronchiolitis and pneumonia. Complications are more common in children, adults with chronic heart and lung diseases.



The diagnostics of respiratory syncytial virus infection is based on:

  • anamnestic data
  • physical examination
  • Testing for the virus



There is no specific treatment for respiratory syncytial virus infection. Symptomatic drugs are used to alleviate the condition.

In severe cases, hospitalization is required.


risk groups

  • Children up to 6 months and prematurely born complaints
  • Children with congenital heart diseases
  • Immunocompromised children and adults
  • Children with neuromuscular dystrophies
  • Adults with cardiopulmonary diseases
  • Seniors over 65 years old



  • Pneumonia and bronchiolitis are typical complications of respiratory syncytial virus infection.
  • Inflammation of the middle ear - common in children under 2 years of age and newborns
  • Repeated infectious process - a person may get sick with respiratory syncytial virus several times even in the same season.



There are two ways to prevent respiratory syncytial virus: an antibody-containing drug and vaccination.

  • Preparations - with ready-made antibodies
  • Vaccination


Simple preventive measures help us to protect ourselves from infection:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Medical mask
  • Keeping personal items clean
  • Refrain from using other people's personal items
  • Giving up bad habits and maintaining a healthy lifestyle



Laboratory "Synevo" offers diagnostic tests for viral infections:

Name of the test Category Price CODE Response time (working day) ** Location of the analysis **** Buyhf: categories



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