RSV; Palivizumab; Respiratory Syncytial Virus Immune Globulin
Antibiotics do not treat RSV. Mild infections go away without treatment. Infants and children with a severe RSV infection may be admitted to the hospital so they can receive oxygen, humidified air, and fluids by IV.
A breathing machine (ventilator) may be needed.
RSV infection can, in rare cases, cause death in infants. However, this is unlikely if the child is seen by a health care provider early in the course of the illness.
More severe RSV disease may be seen in:
- Premature infants
- Infants with chronic lung disease
- Infants whose immune system does not work well
- Infants with certain forms of heart disease
In older children and adults, the disease will usually be mild.
Some evidence suggests that children who have had RSV bronchiolitis are at increased risk for asthma.
In young children, RSV can cause:
Bronchiolitis Croup Ear infections
- Lung failure
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if breathing difficulties or other symptoms of this disorder appear. Any breathing difficulties in an infant are an emergency. Seek medical attention right away.
Review Date: 01/29/2010
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.