Symptoms begin after an incubation period of 1 to 4 days with runny nose followed by cough, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Fever may or may not be present. Victims often develop a dusky color, indicating that they are not getting enough oxygen. Death occurs in 0.5% to 1% of hospitalized infants but is much higher in those with underlying diseases such as heart and lung disease, cancer, and immunodeficiency. RSV is one of the causes of croup, seen commonly in older infants and manifest as a loud high-pitched cough and noisy inspiration due to airway obstruction at the larynx. Infections of healthy older children and adults generally cause symptoms of a bad cold.

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