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RSV: Risk of Complications

RSV: Risk of Complications

Topic Overview

With respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections, there is an increased risk of having complications, especially in certain babies and young children and in adults older than 65.

Babies and young children

Certain children have a high risk for problems such as bronchiolitis or pneumonia as a result of RSV. They include:

  • Babies younger than 6 months, especially those born early.
  • Children who have existing heart or lung disease.

Conditions that put babies and young children at higher risk for problems include:

If your young child has a health condition, your doctor may recommend medicine to help prevent problems from RSV.

Older adults

Adults older than 65 have an increased risk for complications following infection with RSV. Pneumonia from an RSV infection is a particular risk for people in this age group, especially if they have other diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or heart failure.

Other complications older adults may develop as a result of RSV infection include bronchiolitis and respiratory failure. Older adults may also recover more slowly from RSV and complications than people in other age groups do.

References

Other Works Consulted

  • Committee on Infectious Diseases, American Academy of Pediatrics (2009). Modified recommendations for use of palivizumab for prevention of respiratory syncytial virus infections. Pediatrics, 124(6): 1694–1701.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Current as of April 29, 2014

Current as of: April 29, 2014

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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