During December to the end of February of 2003 and 2004, a total of 282 nasopharyngeal aspirates were obtained from infants and young children admitted to the Buraidah Maternity and Pediatric Hospital, Al-Qassim, Saudi Arabia, and clinically diagnosed as suffering from acute lower respiratory tract infections. The aspirates were tested for the presence of respiratory syncytial virus using direct fluorescein-labeled monoclonal antibody assay. Of the 282 specimens, 128 (45.4%) were found to be positive for respiratory syncytial virus. The most positive specimens came from patients less than one year old (51.3%), and were associated with bronchopneumonia (56.7%) or bronchiolits (55.4%). Coughing (100%) and tachpnea (98%) were significantly more frequent in infants with respiratory syncytial virus infection, followed by wheezing, crepitation and retraction, each representing 66%. Three deaths were reported. The availability of a rapid viral diagnostic assay will be an important tool for physicians to make more accurate treatment decisions and therefore reduce unnecessary antibiotic usage and hospital stay for the patients.