Older adults and adults with certain chronic conditions may have an increased risk for severe RSV infection1

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Adults who are infected with RSV usually have mild or no symptoms. Symptoms are usually consistent with an upper respiratory tract infection, and usually last less than five days. Some adults, however, may have more severe symptoms consistent with a lower respiratory tract infection, such as pneumonia.1

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Those at high risk for severe illness from RSV include1:

Icon: Risk to older adults

Older adults

Icon: Chronic lung or heart disease

Adults with chronic lung or heart disease

Icon: Weakened immune system

Adults with weakened immune systems

RSV may exacerbate serious conditions such as1:

Icon: Asthma inhaler


Icon: COPD lungs

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Icon: Congestive heart failure

Congestive heart failure

Older adults with certain comorbidities are at risk for hospitalization2

In 2 geographical areas, over 3 RSV seasons, among adults aged 65 years and older with RSV infection, the risk of hospitalization was increased in those with certain comorbidities compared to those without2

Incidence rate ratios for hospitalization among adults ≥65 years of age with each comorbidity vs those without2*

Hospitalization rates among adults with comorbidities chart
Hospitalization rates among adults with comorbidities chart

Adults aged 60 years and older with congestive heart failure (CHF) were approximately 4x-7.6x more likely to be hospitalized2

*A prospective, population-based, surveillance study was conducted to estimate the incidence of RSV hospitalization among adults ≥18 years overall and those with specific comorbidities. Active and passive surveillance identified 1099 adults hospitalized with RSV in 2 geographical areas (New York City and Rochester, NY) over 3 RSV seasons. The incidence rate ratios presented above are observations from 2 different locations comprised of the surveillance area. Estimated incidence rates for all comorbid conditions increased with age.2

Incidence rate ratio in Rochester for hospitalizations related to asthma was not considered to be statistically significant.2

CAD=coronary artery disease; CI=confidence interval; IRR=incidence rate ratio; RSV=respiratory syncytial virus.

Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Dr. Len Friedland discuss RSV in older adults with certain comorbidities

Magic Johnson video thumbnail Magic Johnson video thumbnail


1. Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV). For healthcare providers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed October 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/clinical/index.html#clinical 2. Branche AR, Saiman L, Walsh EE, et al. Incidence of respiratory syncytial virus infection among hospitalized adults, 2017–2020. Clin Infect Dis. 2022;74(6):1004-1011. doi:10.1093/cid/ciab595