Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a predictable, seasonal disease with significant morbidity and mortality in children below 24 months. Prophylaxis, which decreases hospitalisation in those most vulnerable to the disease, has been available since 1998. Pharmacological prophylaxis is however, expensive and requires good infrastructure to deliver. It is out of reach for many patients in low-income and middle-income countries where mortality is highest. This article looks at the pathophysiology and risk factors for RSV. It also outlines what agents are currently available for prophylaxis and prevention.
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