Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), is a prevalent and contagious virus that affects the respiratory system, particularly in young children and older adults. RSV infections often lead to mild cold-like symptoms, but in some cases, especially in infants and individuals with compromised immune systems, it can cause severe respiratory issues.

RSV is a leading cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lungs) and pneumonia in children under the age of one. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, runny nose, fever, and difficulty breathing. The virus spreads through respiratory droplets, making it easily transmissible, especially in crowded settings.

While most RSV infections result in mild illnesses, severe cases can lead to hospitalisation, especially in vulnerable populations. 

Public health measures such as hand hygiene, avoiding close contact with sick individuals, and maintaining a clean environment are essential to reduce the spread of RSV. As a common cause of respiratory illness, RSV continues to be an important area of public health focus, aiming to improve prevention, diagnosis, and treatment strategies for individuals of all ages.

Further information on Bronchiolitis can be found on NI Direct