With multiple co-circulating respiratory viruses, diagnostic testing for influenza, SARS-CoV-2, and other respiratory viruses can help guide treatment and clinical management. Consider diagnostic testing for patients with suspected respiratory virus infections, particularly among hospitalized patients, those with factors placing persons at high risk for severe outcomes from flu and COVID-19, and those with severe or progressive illness.
Several laboratory tests are available for confirming RSV infection, including:
Less commonly used tests include:
Providers should consult experienced laboratorians for more information on interpretation of results.
Most cases of RSV will resolve without treatment. For supportive care, inform patients and parents to:
For prevention, a medication called palivizumab (Synagis) may be given monthly to high-risk infants and young children with certain underlying medical conditions. Palivizumab is given in monthly intramuscular injections during the RSV season.
For more information on palivizumab, see the American Academy of Pediatrics' Updated Guidance for Palivizumab Prophylaxis Among Infants and Young Children at Increased Risk of Hospitalization for Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection.