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What Is Respiratory Syncytial Virus? Know Symptoms And Prevention Steps

Respiratory syncytial virus mainly affects kids and lead to cold-like symptoms. Here's all you need to know about the symptoms of this virus.

What Is Respiratory Syncytial Virus? Know Symptoms And Prevention Steps

Respiratory syncytial virus can lead to runny nose, sore throat and more cold-like symptoms


  1. Respiratory syncytial virus leads to cold-like symptoms
  2. It mainly affects kid before the age of 2
  3. Respiratory syncytial virus can spread easily through infected droplets

The respiratory syncytial virus is a highly contagious virus that infects the lungs and the respiratory tract. It mainly affects kids by age 2 but in some cases, adults can get infected too. The symptoms of respiratory syncytial virus are usually mild which take a week or two to recover. But in some cases, respiratory syncytial virus can also lead to serious complications. A severe infection can lead to pneumonia and bronchiolitis. This virus can enter the body through the eyes, nose and mouth. It can also spread easily through infected droplets in the air.

Respiratory syncytial virus: Know symptoms and preventions steps

Symptoms of respiratory syncytial virus

The respiratory syncytial virus leads to cold-like symptoms. Some of these include-

  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Sneezing
  • Mild fever
  • Dry cough

These symptoms usually last for 1 to 2 weeks. One may start to experience these symptoms 4 to 6 days after exposure to the virus.

Also read: Understanding Pneumonia: Symptoms, Management, And Its Relation To COVID-19

Severe cases

In some cases, the infection can lead to severe symptoms like fever, severe cough, wheezing and difficulty in breathing. If the infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract, it can lead to pneumonia or bronchiolitis.


Severe cases of RSV can lead to bronchiolitis and pneumonia in kids
Photo Credit: iStock

You should immediately see a doctor if the child struggles to breathe, refuses to feed, shows signs of irritability and feels tired.

Also read: Bronchiolitis and adult lung problems


There is no vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus. Therefore it is crucial to follow all necessary steps to prevent the spread of the virus. Some of these include-

  • If you have cold symptoms, avoid going near to children
  • Wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread
  • Cover your mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing
  • Do not share utensils if you have symptoms

If you notice symptoms in your child, get in touch with your doctor and avoid self-medication.

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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