Parents should take the same precautions for all respiratory illnesses: wash hands, limit contact with others who are sick, don't smoke and keep surfaces clean.
For babies at highest risk -- those born prematurely, with congenital heart or lung disease -- there is one medication to help ward it off: Doctors may administer a series of injections (Palivizumab) as a protective measure. But it's an expensive treatment not indicated for general use.
Preventive actions do pay off, Wiskind says.
"The number of fatalities from RSV has dropped significantly in recent years."
There currently is no vaccine for RSV. But "we are hopeful," Gerber says. "There are multiple candidates for a vaccine in development."