Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an enveloped paramyxovirus that causes annual outbreaks during the wintertime, from late fall to early spring
-It is the major cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in infants under 1 year of age
-It also causes upper and lower respiratory tract infection in adults
-Reinfections occur frequently throughout life and into older age.
-It is spread primarily by large droplets and fomites.
Symptoms & Signs
Low-grade fever, tachypnea, wheezes, rhinorrhea, nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, dyspnea, hyperexpansion of the lungs, hypoxemia and hypercapnia
-This can be done by viral culture, antigen detection, nucleic acid amplification, or serology
-Interstitial infiltrates may be seen on chest radiography
-RSV causes syncytium formation in cell cultures
-RSV infection usually is self-limited
-Supportive care: hydration, humidification of inspired air, ventilatory support
-Pharmacotherapy is not routinely recommended
-Palivizumab prophylaxis in patients with congenital heart disease, pulmonary dysplasia, Down syndrome
-Ribavirin is teratogenic and should be avoided in pregnant women
-No vaccine is available for RSV