Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

FAQ

Can my child get RSV again?

Yes. RSV can infect the same person more than once throughout their lifetime. Symptoms are usually less severe after the first RSV infection. Symptoms for older children and adults are more like cold symptoms.

Will RSV weaken my child's lungs and make them more prone to pneumonia in the future?

Most children recover completely from RSV and won't have any extra problems the next time they have a respiratory infection (cold, flu or something similar). But for a few children, having RSV will make them more prone to other lung and breathing problems later on. These later problems could be caused by an underlying medical condition or allergy, and not RSV. It can be hard to say.

Can RSV can be serious?

Yes. Infants or young children who have RSV for the first time may get a serious infection in their lower respiratory tract, like bronchiolitis or pneumonia. They will need to be treated in hospital. Most children with RSV who are sick enough to go to the hospital are either very young (infants) or have an underlying health condition, like heart or lung disease. RSV can be more serious in premature and newborn babies.

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Page Last Updated: 19/08/2014