Trends in Respiratory Syncytial Virus Seasonality Reported

Information could help guide clinical decision-making

THURSDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) -- In most of the United States, the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) season starts in the fall and continues through early spring, but more specific timing varies regionally; an understanding of seasonal trends can help guide decision making around diagnostic testing and the administration of prophylaxis, according to a report published in the Sept. 9 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Jeffry D. Mutuc, M.P.H., of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined data from the National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance system to determine trends in RSV seasonality by geographic region.

The researchers found that, during the 2010 to 2011 season, all 10 regions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services experienced the onset of RSV from mid-November to early January and the offset from mid-March to late April, with the exception of Florida, which experiences earlier onset and longer duration of RSV. An aggregate analysis of the last four seasons found the onset to range from mid-October to early January and the offset to occur between early February and early May.

"Information on national and regional patterns can be used by clinicians and public health officials to guide diagnostic testing during respiratory disease outbreaks and determine when to provide RSV immunoprophylaxis for children at high risk for serious complications," the authors write.

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