RSV: Risk of Complications
With Reference respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) Opens New Window 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
- 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:
- Reference Congenital heart disease Opens New Window.
- Reference Chronic lung disease Opens New Window (bronchopulmonary dysplasia) and Reference cystic fibrosis Opens New Window.
- An Reference impaired immune system Opens New Window, which can involve various health factors. For example, having a severe chronic illness, such as cancer, can affect the immune system. And certain medicines, such as chemotherapy or steroids, suppress the immune system.
- Reference Exposure to tobacco smoke Opens New Window.
If your young child has a health condition, your doctor may recommend medicine to help prevent problems from RSV.
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.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference June 25, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Reference John Pope, MD - Pediatrics