Respiratory syncytial virus is a common respiratory tract pathogen in infants. Pulmonary infection in adult and elderly populations can occur with severe and even fatal pneumonitis having been reported in several recent out-breaks. We present a previously healthy adult patient who developed respiratory syncytial virus pneumonia severe enough to require mechanical ventilation. Antiviral therapy with aerosolized ribavirin was successfully undertaken and the patient recovered completely. Respiratory syncytial virus infection should be considered in the differential diagnosis of atypical adult pneumonias. Aerosolized ribavirin therapy may be beneficial in treatment.
(Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:2303-2304)