Unusual Surge of Respiratory Syncytial Virus in Children
September 24, 2021
Pediatricians have reported early emergence of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in the beginning of summer and consequently, a surge of RSV in children. This has been a global trend amid the ongoing pandemic. RSV is the leading viral agent of severe acute respiratory infections in infants and young children worldwide (1). Specifically, RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children younger than 1 year of age. Every year, RSV is responsible for an estimated 118,200 deaths worldwide among children <5 years of age, with 99% of these deaths occurring in developing countries. [/av_textblock] [av_hr class='invisible' height='15' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-kk8dbf3c' admin_preview_bg=''] [av_one_full first min_height='' vertical_alignment='av-align-top' space='' custom_margin='aviaTBcustom_margin' margin='15' margin_sync='true' row_boxshadow_color='' row_boxshadow_width='10' link='' linktarget='' link_hover='' padding='15' padding_sync='true' highlight_size='1.1' border='15' border_color='#e0e0e0' radius='10' radius_sync='true' column_boxshadow_color='' column_boxshadow_width='10' background='bg_color' background_color='#e0e0e0' background_gradient_color1='' background_gradient_color2='' background_gradient_direction='vertical' src='' attachment='' attachment_size='' background_position='top left' background_repeat='no-repeat' animation='' mobile_breaking='' mobile_display='' av_uid='av-1u4m070'] [av_textblock size='' font_color='' color='' av-medium-font-size='' av-small-font-size='' av-mini-font-size='' av_uid='av-kk7411va' admin_preview_bg='']
Breaking the Typical Cycle
In general, respiratory viruses usually circulate in the fall and winter months, peaking in February. However, the ongoing pandemic with SARS-CoV-2 greatly affected patterns of other respiratory virus infections last winter season (2). For example, influenza virus activity was unusually low throughout the 2020-2021 flu season both in the US and globally, despite high levels of testing (CDC). During September 28, 2020–May 22, 2021 in the US, 1,675 (0.2%) of 818,939 respiratory specimens tested by U.S. clinical laboratories were positive for an influenza virus. Similarly, RSV was heavily suppressed during its regular season. The decline of these respiratory virus-related illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths had resulted from COVID-19 mitigation measures such as wearing face masks, staying home, hand washing, school closures, reduced travel, increased ventilation of indoor spaces, and physical distancing.