The Silent Stalker: The Respiratory Syncytial Virus and the Promise of New Immunizations

The air is heavy with the scent of disinfectant, the room filled with the echo of a baby’s cough. A worried mother hovers, her eyes filled with a fear that’s all too familiar in this pediatric ward. It’s a scene that plays out thousands of times every year around the globe, as the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) lays claim to yet another tiny victim. RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. It spreads through minuscule droplets expelled from an infected person’s cough or sneeze, or on their hands. The virus is a particular menace for babies and older adults, with its seemingly innocuous symptoms often escalating to severe pneumonia.

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