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New data suggest RSV seasonality may return to normal

New data suggest RSV seasonality may return to normal


April 7, 2023

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Disclosure: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.

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Important points:

  • RSV showed signs of returning to pre-pandemic seasonality this winter.
  • Researchers warn that off-season epidemics are still a possibility.

New data suggest respiratory syncytial virus may be returning to pre-COVID-19 seasonality (winter peak), which will determine when people should get vaccinated Researchers say it may help

Measures taken to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (such as school closures and mask requirements) ended the RSV season early three years ago. Then, mitigation measures for COVID-19 suspended the relatively seasonal respiratory illness for three more seasons.


In the United States, according to the CDC, RSV is estimated to cause up to 80,000 hospitalizations annually among children under the age of 5 and up to 160,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths annually among adults over the age of 65. I’m here.

Next month, the FDA will decide whether to approve what would be the first two vaccines against RSV — Both target elderly people. Also under review RSV vaccine for pregnant women.

RSV’s return to normal seasonality could help people decide when to get vaccinated, authors of new report say MMWR Said.

Disruption of the normal circulation of RSV “reduced respiratory virus transmission and led to accumulation of susceptible populations, resulting in large epidemics with atypical seasonality”. Dr. Sarah Hamid, MPH, An Epidemic Intelligence Service officer and colleagues from the CDC’s Division of Virus Diseases wrote in the study.

Using PCR test results reported to the National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System between July 2017 and February 2023, Hamid et al. Defined as weeks with ≥3% positive PCR test results for RSV.

Nationwide, from 2017 to 2020, the RSV season began in October, peaked in December, and ended in April, according to the study.

Hamid and colleagues noted that circulation of RSV in the 2020-2021 season was historically low. The 2021-2022 season started in May, peaked in June, and ended the following January. The 2022-2023 season he started in June, peaked in November and ended in January. From 2021 he peaked later than he did in the 2022 season, but earlier than in the pre-pandemic season.

“As several RSV prevention products have been developed, continuous monitoring of RSV circulation can guide the timing of RSV immunoprophylaxis, clinical trials, and post-licensing efficacy studies,” said Hamid. wrote a colleague. “Although the timing of the 2022-2023 season suggests that seasonal patterns are returning to those observed in the pre-pandemic years, clinicians believe that offseason RSV circulation may continue. It should be noted that there is





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