Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection

Find out how we define and monitor cases of RSV infection, and where you can learn more about this disease.

About RSV infection

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common virus that infects the airways and lungs. It is highly contagious. RSV spreads between people if an infected person produces small water droplets while talking, coughing and sneezing. If you have RSV you may experience:

  • coughing
  • a fever
  • a runny or stuffy nose
  • wheezing or difficulty breathing.

Most people experience a mild illness and will recover in one or 2 weeks. Some people recover easily while others get very sick. RSV infection can affect anyone but is especially serious for:

  • infants aged 12 months or under
  • young children or older adults with chronic health conditions.
Disease type:
Vaccination available under NIP:
Notifiable disease:


Regular handwashing and good personal hygiene can stop RSV from spreading. For more information about prevention, see healthdirect's RSV page

Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment 

For information about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, see healthdirect's RSV page.

Surveillance and reporting 

RSV infection is a nationally notifiable disease

We monitor cases through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS). We report through:

For more on RSV in Australia, you can:

Date last updated:

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