Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Infection - What Increases Your Risk
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infects almost all children by the age of 2, and reinfection
throughout life is common. The virus spreads easily and is extremely difficult to
completely avoid. Babies and young children who are in day care centers or
frequently in public places are most likely to become infected, especially
during the peak season.
Older brothers and sisters in school often become
infected with the virus and spread it to other household members, including
babies and preschoolers. Sharing food, touching objects that are contaminated
with the virus, and not washing hands can lead to RSV infection. Older adults
living in nursing homes or other group environments also have a higher risk of
becoming infected with RSV.
Babies ages 2 to 7 months
of age have the highest incidence of RSV infection affecting the lower
respiratory tract . Reinfection with another type or
strain of RSV can occur within weeks. But later infections are usually less
With RSV infections, there is
an increased risk of having
complications, especially in certain
babies and young children and
adults older than 65.