Updated December 20, 2023

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common, contagious respiratory bug that typically causes cold-like symptoms. Adults who get RSV may have a sore throat, runny nose, cough or fatigue. Some people also get a fever.

While most adults with an RSV infection experience only mild symptoms, some people are at risk of getting seriously ill. In those cases, RSV can lead to pneumonia; a lung infection; or the worsening of chronic conditions, such as asthma, congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).