Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
The 2016-2017 RSV season in Montana has officially ended.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is recognized as one of the most common causes of childhood illness. More specifically, RSV is the leading cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in U.S. children aged less than one year, and especially infants born prematurely. Each year in the United States, approximately 75,000 to 125,000 children aged <5 years are hospitalized because of RSV complications. Palivizumab (Synagis®) is a monthly prophylactic treatment that has reduced the incidence of RSV infections in high risk infants and children by about half during a typical RSV season. Palivizumab is not typically covered by insurance companies without prior authorization of eligibility criteria brought forth from organizations such as The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Montana RSV testing data may lead to improved clinical decision making for Palivizumab authorization at the local level for several reasons:
- Detecting unusually early, or late, RSV season onset/offset, and providing urgent or unnecessary Palivizumab authorization or declination.
- Detecting an unusually late RSV season so Palivizumab use can be conserved for those infants who have received <5 doses after RSV season begins.
- More accurately describing RSV season onset and offset for future planning.
The National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) is currently the primary source for state-level RSV data, but only includes voluntarily submitted data from five facilities in Montana. Using the same method as the NREVSS, RSV season onset in Montana officially begins the first of two consecutive weeks with ≥10% of specimens testing positive. The RSV season offset occurs the last of two consecutive weeks with ≥10% of specimens testing positive. Season onset in Montana typically ranges from late December to mid-January, and season offset ranges from late March to early May.
We wish to thank all the participating laboratories for agreeing to participate during this upcoming RSV season.