What is Severe RSV Disease?
Is your baby at high risk?
Take the Risk Assessment now.
Then, talk to your pediatrician about the results.
RSV is a virus that infects the lungs
- RSV or respiratory syncytial [sin-sish-uhl] virus is a contagious virus that may infect a child's lungs and breathing passages
- Most children will catch RSV by the age of 2 years
- RSV spreads rapidly among children. While most will recover in 1 to 2 weeks, infants and children can continue to spread the virus for 1 to 3 weeks, even after recovery
Most children recover from the disease in a week or two, but in preterm infants (≤35 wGA) or those with certain heart or lung problems, RSV can lead to serious lung infection and hospitalization
- RSV is present year-round but its activity typically goes up in the fall, peaks in the winter, and goes down in early spring. The exact timing of RSV season varies by location.
How severe RSV disease affects the lungs
Lung Structure and Capacity
Click on the buttons below to see estimates of premature
lung development compared to full term.
- Lung volume of preterm infants born at 34 weeks GA is only about half of the lung volume seen in full-term infants
- A preterm infant’s airways are smaller and narrower than a full-term baby's airways
Even as preterm infants start to look healthy and strong, they remain at high risk for severe RSV disease, in part due to underdeveloped lungs.