RSV is spread easily through fluids of the mouth and nose. The virus can live on surfaces and objects for hours. People touch the surface with the virus then touch their mouth, nose, or eyes. It can also be spread by inhaling droplets from a sneeze or cough.
RSV can infect people of all ages. It is more common in infants and young children. Other things that may raise the risk are:
Exposure to a person infected with the virus or a surface with the virus
Walsh EE, Hall CB. Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). In: Bennett J, Dolin R, Blaser M, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. New York, NY: Saunders; 2015: 1948-1960.e3.
Last reviewed September 2019 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Kari Kassir, MD
Last Updated: 9/11/2020
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.