Respiratory syncytial virus or RSV is a common virus that affects the airway and lungs. Most people develop mild cold-like symptoms and get better in a few weeks. For some people, though, RSV can cause serious illness. The infection is especially dangerous for the very old and young.


1. Older Children and Adults

In older children and adults, respiratory syncytial virus may not have any symptoms. If any do appear, they resemble those of common cold, including cough, fever, congestion, and fatigue. The illness usually clears up on its own in less than a week. That said, symptoms can sometimes be more severe and resemble pneumonia.

older children adults Peter Cade / Getty Images

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