RSV Hospitalizations Surge, Babies Hit Hardest
Babies are being most affected by an unseasonably early surge in hospitalizations for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Federal data from 12 states showed that about 3 people per 100,000 were hospitalized with RSV during the week ending Nov. 5, the highest rate since 2.7 per 100,000 in January 2020, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic but down from the Oct. 29 rate of 3.4 hospitalizations per 100,000. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infants under 6 months old have the highest hospitalization rate for RSV at 145 per 100,000, compared with a rate of 63 per 100,000 for infants aged 6 months to 1 year. Nationwide, an increase in RSV and other respiratory viruses is straining emergency rooms and pediatric hospitals, with recent pediatric unit closures exacerbating the issue. National Foundation for Infectious Diseases medical director William Schaffner said, "RSV has done something similar in the previous two seasons where it started early, but nothing to this extent and nothing as widespread as now." Amanda Castel, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, added, "We likely have not peaked."
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