If you’re concerned about your risk for RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) but don’t know where to start, use this resource to help guide the conversation.


  • How could RSV infection impact someone of my age?

    Older adults are more likely to have serious complications due to RSV because the immune system typically weakens as people age. For adults 60 years and older, some data suggest that there is an increased risk for severe RSV infection that can lead to hospitalization. Knowing about RSV can help you take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.

  • Can RSV infection exacerbate underlying conditions?

    Adults with certain underlying conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, or chronic heart failure (CHF) are at an increased risk of developing severe illness. RSV can exacerbate these conditions and can lead to severe outcomes, such as pneumonia, hospitalization, and death.

  • What are the symptoms of RSV?

    Symptoms of RSV typically include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, headache, and fatigue. Symptoms of RSV can range from mild to severe and can last up to 2 weeks.

  • Could I tell the difference between RSV and other respiratory illnesses?

    RSV can cause symptoms that are similar to other respiratory infections. If you develop cold-like symptoms such as a cough, runny nose, wheezing, or sneezing, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider to determine what illness you may be experiencing.

  • What should I do if I am diagnosed with RSV?

    If you are diagnosed with RSV, ask your healthcare provider about ways to manage your symptoms and what to do if your symptoms do not improve or get worse.

  • How long does it take to recover from RSV, and can there be any negative impacts from severe infection?

    While RSV infections are typically mild and most people recover from RSV infection in a week or two, it can also pose a severe impact on health, especially for older adults. RSV infection can cause serious complications such as pneumonia or exacerbation of chronic heart failure (CHF), asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). RSV can also cause severe infections that may lead to hospitalization in adults aged 60 and older, and adults with certain underlying conditions like asthma, COPD, and CHF.

  • Can you tell me more about vaccination for RSV for older adults?

    It’s important to know your risks to help Sideline RSV! If you’re 60 or older, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about RSV and vaccination.


When it comes to RSV, help put up a good defense. Download the doctor conversation guide and team up with your physician at your next appointment to learn about how you can help protect yourself.