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Disease Name: RSV

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Please review the Idaho Reportable Disease Rules (IDAPA 16.02.10) for the most up-to-date information.

Overview / Case Definition

RSV can cause upper respiratory infections (such as colds) and lower respiratory tract infections (such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia). In children younger than 1 year of age, RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis, an inflammation of the small airways in the lung, and pneumonia, an infection of the lungs.




Within 1 working day to State Epidemiologist

Reportable by Healthcare and Labs:

Reportable by Food Service Facility:

Suspect Reportable:

Reporting Timeframe: Within 1 working day to State Epidemiologist

Diagnosis / Testing

Viral isolation in cell culture using specimens from nasopharyngeal swabs is the gold standard for diagnosis; however, culture results may not be available for up to 10 days and the delay leads to a lack of clinical usefulness. More rapid detection methods, such as direct immunofluorescence assay (DFA) and membrane enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (MEIA) techniques are increasingly being used; however, coinfections may not be detected. Rapid detection methods vary in sensitivity with most in the range of 80%–90%. Sensitivity may be lower in older children and is poor in adults, who typically shed virus in low concentrations. RT-PCR assays are now commercially available for RSV. The sensitivity of these assays often exceeds the sensitivity of virus isolation and antigen detections methods. Use of highly sensitive RT-PCR assays should be considered, particularly when testing older children and adults. Results should be interpreted with caution because RT-PCR detects viral RNA that may persist for weeks after detectable infectious virus is no longer shed. Serologic tests are useful for epidemiologic studies but not for guiding patient care.


AAP guidance for Palivizumab Prophylaxis: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/134/2/415.full#cited-by

Additional Information

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