By: Ann McMullen
RSV refers to respiratory syncytial virus. This illness shares some similarities with the flu: they both affect the respiratory system (nose, throat, and lungs) and generally occur during late fall through early spring.
Who does this virus affect?
Anyone can be infected, but RSV is the most common and dangerous in children under two years old.
How do I know if I have RSV? Is there a cure?
The virus often presents itself as a cold, with symptoms such as fever, cough, and congestion. However, it can lead to more severe conditions. In fact, RSV is the leading cause in young children of pneumonia and bronchiolitis – a lung inflammation disease quite similar to bronchitis.
Patients can be tested for RSV, but there is no cure for it and antibiotics do not help treat the virus. Thankfully, it tends to clear up by itself within a week or so.
And, what is this “triple-pandemic?”
Americans are referring to influenza, COVID-19, and RSV as a “tripledemic,” as all three of them are quite prevalent in the United States right now. Flu cases always spike in the fall, but they’re even higher than usual this year. With COVID restrictions now greatly loosened, cases are expected to rise in the coming months. RSV wasn’t much of an issue for the past two years because a large portion of people still wore masks. This year, however, cases are greatly increasing, which is more than likely also a result of the lifting of COVID restrictions and people using less caution towards viruses overall.
To best protect yourself from RSV, the CDC advises that you should thoroughly wash your hands, cover your cough, and avoid close contact with people who appear to be ill.
For more information on RSV and the triple-pandemic, please visit