Better Health Channel
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of respiratory infections.
  • While it affects people of all ages, infants and young children are most frequently affected.
  • Infants and older adults are most at risk of serious illness.
  • It occurs more frequently in autumn and winter.
  • Most people have mild to moderate illness that self-resolves.
  • Infants and people with pre-existing heart or lung problems or a weakened immune system have a higher risk of serious illness.
  • It can spread from person-to-person so good hand washing, respiratory hygiene and cleaning practices are important in preventing RSV.
  • Call an ambulance or go to your nearest hospital emergency department if your child is turning blue, having trouble breathing, or is breathing very quickly.
  • Vaccination to protect people aged 60 years and older from severe illness due to RSV is available. Speak to your GP or pharmacist.
  • The RSV vaccine is not funded under the National Immunisation Program.

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Reviewed on: 24-04-2024