RSV is a syncytial virus that causes respiratory tract infections. It is a major cause of lower respiratory tract infections and hospital visits during infancy and childhood. A prophylactic medication, palivizumab, can be employed to prevent HRSV in preterm (under 35 weeks gestation) infants, infants with certain congenital heart defects (CHD) or bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), and infants with congenital malformations of the airway. Treatment is limited to supportive care, including oxygen therapy and more advanced breathing support with CPAP or nasal high flow oxygen.
To date, treatment has been limited to supportive measures. Adrenaline, bronchodilators, steroids, antibiotics, and ribavirin confer "no real benefit".
Supportive care includes fluids and oxygen until the illness runs its course. Salbutamol may be used in an attempt to relieve any bronchospasm if present. Increased airflow, humidified and delivered via nasal cannula, may be supplied in order to reduce the effort required for respiration.