ABC Medical Center > Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

What is Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)?

18:33 - 18 January , 2024


It is a common viral pathology that affects the respiratory system. Babies, young children, older adults, and people with a suppressed immune system or chronic heart or lung diseases are the most vulnerable to contracting it.

Infection is through direct contact with people or by touching objects or surfaces contaminated with the virus. The highest risk is the first week after contracting the infection, but in babies and immunocompromised people, the virus continues to be transmitted up to four weeks after infection.

Signs and symptoms Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Symptoms generally appear between three and seven days after exposure to the virus with signs similar to those of the flu, such as:

  • Nasal congestion.
  • Sore throat.
  • Fever.
  • Sneezes.
  • Runny nose.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Wheezing.
  • Dry cough.
  • Cyanosis.
  • Trouble breathing.

The greatest risk of respiratory syncytial virus is the development of other serious infections such as otitis, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia.

Diagnosis and treatment Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

The doctor will analyze the symptoms and clinical history, perform a physical examination and, if deemed necessary, request the following tests:

  • Blood test.
  • Exudates of secretions from inside the mouth or nose.
  • Pulse oximetry.
  • Chest x-ray.

As it is a virus, there is no direct treatment for this condition, so recovery depends on the strength of the patient’s immune system, but the following may be prescribed:

  • Painkillers.
  • Antibiotics in case of bacterial pneumonia.
  • Abundant fluid intake.
  • Saline nasal solution.

In more extreme cases, hospitalization may be required for intravenous fluids and oxygen therapy.

How to prevent respiratory syncytial virus infection:

  • Perform hand hygiene regularly.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Constantly disinfect the surfaces you come into contact with.

In ABC Medical Center Internal Medicine Department, we provide you with health care services with the highest quality and safety, from prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and follow-up of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological conditions, both chronic-degenerative and acute, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


  • Cano-Rangel MA, Álvarez-Hernández G, Dorame-Castillo R, et al. Infecciones por Virus Respiratorio Sincicial en Pediatría. Bol Clin Hosp Infant Edo Son. 2007;24(2):73-80.
  • Quezada M, Aguilar OG, González AEE, et al. El virus sincicial y otros patógenos respiratorios en menores de 36 meses, en un hospital regional del centro de México. Enf Infec Microbiol. 2020;40(3):75-80.
  • Jiménez-Aguilar R, Rodriguez-Godoy ME, Jiménez-Juarez RN, et al. Caso clínico: virus sincicial respiratorio. Rev Med Inst Mex Seguro Soc. 2018;56(2):207-210.

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