Encyclopedia of Public Health

2008 Edition
| Editors: Wilhelm Kirch

Respiratory-Syncytial-Virus (RSV) Infection

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-5614-7_3016


For RS-viruses, humans are the only reservoir. These viruses, which are spread by droplets, are the most common cause of respiratory tract infections during the first two years of life. RSV‐infections are mainly seen in the winter months. After an incubation period of 3–6 days the infection leads to bronchiolitis, obstructive bronchitis, pneumonia and otitis media. The virus can be detected in nasopharnyngeal secretions. For special groups at risk (like premature babies and children with chronic pulmonal diseases) passive immunoprophylaxis is recommended during the first two years of life.

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© Springer-Verlag 2008