Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common respiratory infection which results in substantial morbidity and mortality each year. RSV can be especially dangerous in more vulnerable populations such as young or premature infants, individuals with pre-existing conditions like heart or lung disease, and adults above the age of 65 years old. As such, RSV is currently the leading cause of hospitalization in infants and results in approximately 14,000 deaths annually across age groups. Like other respiratory illnesses, common symptoms include coughing, sneezing, runny nose and fever. Due to RSV’s similarity to other respiratory infections, including COVID-19, it’s important for patients and providers to be aware of its burden and understand prevention and treatment methods.
Earlier this year, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) issued a Call to Action to help raise awareness of the impact of RSV and highlight opportunities for enhanced prevention and treatment efforts. As a supplement to the report, NFID has also developed a suite of resources including infographics, a factsheet, and a public-service announcement. Please see the resources below and share within your own networks:
- Infographic with key facts about RSV
- Infographic describing the burden of RSV
- RSV Factsheet
- 30-second animated public service announcement video
- Additional resources including sample posts can be found at Partner Resources
Of note, the Call to Action reminds us of the important role that local health departments play in understanding the burden of RSV and implementing prevention and treatment strategies at the local level. As we collectively work towards national strategies regarding RSV surveillance systems and innovations in prevention and treatment methods, local health departments can use these resources to help raise awareness for both the public and healthcare providers in their jurisdictions.
Additional resources related to RSV:
- American Academy of Pediatrics – Breathing Baby Animation (RSV)
- American Lung Association – Understanding RSV Fact Sheet
- National Coalition for Infant Health - Position Paper for Inclusion of Monoclonal Antibodies in the Vaccines for Children Program