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Respiratory syncytial virus infection: Prevention

Authors
Frederick E Barr, MD
Barney S Graham, MD, PhD
Section Editors
Morven S Edwards, MD
George B Mallory, MD
Deputy Editor
Mary M Torchia, MD

INTRODUCTION

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes acute respiratory tract illness in persons of all ages. Almost all children are infected by two years of age, and reinfection is common [1]. The clinical manifestations vary with age, health status, and whether the infection is primary or secondary.

The prevention of respiratory syncytial virus infection will be discussed here. The epidemiology, microbiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment of RSV infection are discussed separately. (See "Respiratory syncytial virus infection: Clinical features and diagnosis" and "Respiratory syncytial virus infection: Treatment".)

GENERAL MEASURES

Prevention of RSV infection entails decreasing exposure to RSV and decreasing the risk of acquisition of infection and/or development of disease if exposure occurs. Strategies to decrease exposure and/or the risk of acquisition include [2,3]:

Avoidance of exposure to tobacco and other smoke

Restricting participation in child care during RSV season for high-risk infants (if possible)

                        

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Mon Nov 07 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2016.
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