Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an RNA virus that infects human respiratory epithelial cells and causes annual outbreaks of respiratory tract disease among infants and young children, as well as recurrent infections throughout life. Annual outbreaks of RSV disease are attributable to first-time infection in susceptible infants, reinfection in children and adults with waning or incomplete immunity, and infection by viral genotypes with sufficient antigenic variation to avoid innate and acquired immunity. In industrialized countries, few infectious diseases have a greater effect on the health of young children than does lower respiratory tract disease caused by RSV. By 2 years of age, almost all children will experience an RSV infection, and ∼50% will be infected twice. Results from the New Vaccine Surveillance Network (a prospective, population-based surveillance program sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]) define the burden of RSV disease in children younger than 5...

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