RSV Health Alert: What Is It & How To Protect Your Children

December 12, 2022

Respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-uhl) virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus that causes mild, cold-like symptoms. While most people recover in a week or two, RSV can be severe for some, especially for infants or for older aged adults.

RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection within the lungs) in children younger than 1 year of age in the USA.

RSV Prevention

There are simple steps you can do to help prevent the spreading of RSV. Most importantly, if you have symptoms that seem cold-like, then you should:
      • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper shirt sleeve, NOT YOUR HANDS
      • Wash your hands often using soap and water for at least 20 seconds
      • Avoid close contact with others, like kissing, shaking hands or sharing cups and eating utensils
      • Clean & disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your home/office such as doorknobs and mobile devices

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Ideally, people with cold-like symptoms should not be near children at high risk for severe RSV disease – this includes premature infants, children younger than 2 years with chronic lung or heart conditions, children with weakened immune systems, or children with neuromuscular disorders.

What does RSV sound like?

Tap/click the link below to hear what RSV sounds like:
En español:
¿Cómo suena el virus sincitial respiratorio o VSR?

Learn More

For complete details regarding RSV symptoms, transmission, care, risks and other helpful information: visit the Centers For Disease Control’s RSV web resource center – in English y español.



California Surgeon General Dr. Diana Ramos shares information on RSV, Flu, and COVID-19 with tips on how to limit the spread and protect our families and communities – in English y español.



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