Disease & Vaccine Information

Is Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Contagious?

Updated August 11, 2023

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is contagious and is transmitted from person to person. It is spread by coughing, sneezing, or by direct contact with the virus. A person can become infected by coming into contact with the respiratory secretions of an infected individual, usually through coughing or sneezing, or by touching the virus directly (ie kissing). It is also possible to become infected by the virus by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the face. 

Most infected individuals are usually contagious for between three to eight days, although some people can transmit the virus to others for up to two days before symptoms begin. Immunocompromised individuals may be contagious for up to one month. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine by reading all sections in the Table of Contents, which contain many links and resources such as the manufacturer product information inserts, and to speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.

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