Paramyxoviral infections cause most of the acute lower respiratory tract illness in infants and young children and predispose to the development of chronic wheezing, but the relationship between these short- and long-term viral effects are uncertain. Here we show that a single paramyxoviral infection of mice (C57BL6/J strain) not only produces acute bronchiolitis, but also triggers a chronic response with airway hyperreactivity and goblet cell hyperplasia lasting at least a year after complete viral clearance. During the acute response to virus, same-strain ICAM-1-null mice are protected from airway inflammation and hyperreactivity despite similar viral infection rates, but the chronic response proceeds despite ICAM-1 deficiency. Neither response is influenced by IFN-gamma deficiency, but the chronic response is at least partially prevented by glucocorticoid treatment. In contrast to viral infection, allergen challenge caused only short-term expression of asthma phenotypes. Thus, paramyxoviruses cause both acute airway inflammation/hyperreactivity and chronic airway remodeling/hyperreactivity phenotypes (the latter by a hit-and-run strategy, since viral effects persist after clearance). These two phenotypes can be segregated by their dependence on the ICAM-1 gene and so depend on distinct controls that appear critical for the development of lifelong airway diseases such as asthma.