EurekAlert, Oct. 17, 2006 When a child under the age of 2 contracts a respiratory tract infection requiring hospitalization, odds are that the cause is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). One of the world's most common and dangerous early-childhood infections, RSV puts more than 100,000 children a year in the hospital in the U.S. alone; the infection may also increase the chances that a child will develop asthma. Currently, neither a safe vaccine nor an effective therapy for RSV exists. Now, however, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) researchers have taken an important step toward developing a therapy for RSV.