Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)


What is Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)?

RSV is a highly contagious virus that affects the lungs and respiratory tract. Though anyone can contract RSV, babies (especially the premature), older adults, and those with a weakened immune system (immunocompromised) are most likely to progress to a severe infection.

How common is Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)?

It is estimated that nearly all children in the United States will contract a form of RSV by age 2. Each year, an estimated 58,000-80,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized for RSV in the U.S. alone. Though not all cases result in hospitalization, mild RSV symptoms can progress to severe in less than a week. RSV is spread by infected droplets entering the eyes, nose, or mouth from coughing and sneezing or touching surfaces. RSV season is considered to be during the fall and winter months (November to March), but this can vary based on location.

Questions regarding your Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)?

You can reach the Accredo Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) care team between 8am to 11pm Monday through Friday and Saturday 8am to 5pm Eastern Standard Time.

24-hour Customer Service Center



What are the symptoms of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)?

Symptoms of RSV can vary based on age and severity.

Mild symptoms often mimic a cold and may include:

  • Dry cough
  • Low-grade fever
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Headache
  • Runny nose

More severe symptoms present when the infection has spread to the lower respiratory tract and can include:

  • Severe cough
  • Fever
  • Wheezing: a high-pitch sound often heard upon exhalation
  • Rapid or difficult breathing
  • Bluish color of the skin (known as cyanosis)

Infants are often the most severely impacted by RSV, and their symptoms can include:

  • Cough
  • Short, shallow, and rapid breathing
  • Difficulty breathing with chest muscles and skin pulling inward with each breath
  • Irritability
  • Poor feeding
  • Unusual tiredness

How is Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) diagnosed?

RSV is typically diagnosed based on physical exam, symptoms, and time of year when the issues present. Though not always needed, blood tests, chest x-rays, mouth/nasal swab tests, and pulse oximetry tests can be performed to confirm diagnosis, rule out other conditions, or determine severity.


Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

The following specialty medications are available at Accredo, a specialty pharmacy for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Medication Manufacturer
Synagis® (palivizumab) Sobi

Financing Your Care

Financial assistance coordination may be available to help with your medication costs, including manufacturer and community programs. Accredo representatives are available to help find a program that may work for you.

MedicationFinancial assistance program contact information

Financial Guidance

Life-saving specialty medication can be expensive. Learn how the Accredo teams help individuals find ways to afford the medication they need to survive in this video.

Find Support

There are many organizations that support research and advocacy for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). See below for a few of those organizations.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Government Organizations

Meet the Team

Accredo’s Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) care team is dedicated to serving you and we understand the complexity of your condition. Our specialty-trained clinicians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to answer any questions.

Why We Do It

Accredo supports patients with chronic and complex conditions and helps them live their best life. Watch our video to learn why we do what we do for our patients.

Why We Do It video transcript

24-hour Customer Service Center