There is no special medicine that is used routinely to treat a child with a RSV infection. Ribaviran, a medicine used against this virus, has had varied success in the more severe cases that require hospitalization. Good hand washing remains our best available treatment. This helps to decrease the chances of it spreading from one person to another, particularly when hands are washed well between caring for infants in daycare.
RSV- immune globulin intravenous (RSV-IVIG)--was licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996 to hopefully prevent severe RSV disease in those pediatric patients most at risk (for example, children younger than 2 years old with chronic lung disease or premature birth). Just recently, the FDA also approved the use of another antibody preparation directed specifically against RSV (palivizumab) for protecting high-risk children against serious complications from RSV. These preventive therapies are recommended from the beginning to end of the RSV season. Parents should check with their child's doctor about whether either preventive approach is considered appropriate for their child.