What’s different about RSV this year?
We already had COVID and the flu, but RSV has entered the picture this fall. According to the CDC, 58 000 to 80 000 children, or 1-2% of children under the age of six months who have RSV infection, are at risk for hospitalization. When we think about RSV, we can vividly recall many assumptions that only children can get them. So, should adults be worried about RSV as well? RSV has symptoms similar to the flu or a cold and is sometimes underestimated by many adults of how severe it could be and its fatality. In the United States, CDC’s statistics demonstrate that 60,000–120,000 older adults are hospitalized yearly, and 6,000–10,000 pass away from RSV infections. Not only that, but RSV can also exacerbate pre-existing chronic conditions such as asthma and congestive heart failure or, if not, lead to severe conditions, including pneumonia and bronchiolitis.
According to the New York Times, there is currently no vaccination for RSV. Still, at least two candidates are in late-stage clinical trials and seem highly effective in older adults. Additionally, Pfizer is developing an antiviral medication.