“Because of this increased activity, the CDC encourages broader testing for RSV among patients experiencing acute respiratory disease who test negative for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,” the CDC said in the alarm.
RSV can be associated with severe illness in young children and older adults. This health advice also serves as a reminder to healthcare professionals, childcare providers and staff in long-term care facilities to avoid reporting to work while acutely ill – even if they test negative for SARS-CoV-2. “
RSV is spread like most other respiratory diseases – by droplets and on contaminated surfaces.
“RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under one year of age in the United States. Infants, young children and older adults with chronic medical conditions are at risk for serious disease from RSV infection,”
“Every year in the United States, RSV leads to an average of approximately 58,000 admissions with 100-500 deaths among children younger than 5 years and 177,000 admissions with 14,000 deaths among adults aged 65 or over.”
RSV is one of the viruses that is seen more commonly in the fall and winter, but the incidence plummeted during the pandemic.
“But since the end of March, the CDC has observed an increase in RSV detections reported to the National Respiratory and Enterprise Virus Monitoring System (NREVSS), a nationwide passive laboratory-based monitoring network,” the CDC said.
Spread has been seen in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
“Due to reduced circulation of RSV in the winter months of 2020-2021, older infants and toddlers may now have an increased risk of severe RSV-associated disease, as they are unlikely to have had typical levels of RSV exposure during the last 15 months,” said the CDC.
There is no specific treatment for the virus.