The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advisory on Thursday notifying physicians and caregivers about increased inter-seasonal respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activity in parts of the southern United States.

According to the CDC, RSV is an RNA virus that is spread primarily through respiratory droplets produced when a person coughs or sneezes, and through direct contact with a contaminated surface. RSV can be associated with severe disease in young children and older adults.

While RSV infection primarily occurs during the fall and winter cold and flu season, the CDC has seen an increase in RSV detection since March. National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System, a nationwide laboratory-based monitoring network.

Scanning electron micrographs of human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) virions (colored blue) and labeled with anti-RSV F protein/gold antibody (colored yellow) derived from the surface of human lung epithelial A549 cells. Credits: NIAID. (Fo

“Because of this increased activity, CDC encourages widespread testing for RSV in patients with acute respiratory illness who test negative for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.” is,” agency in your advisory. “This health advice also serves as a reminder to healthcare workers, childcare providers and workers in long-term care facilities to avoid going to work when seriously ill – even if they are infected with SARS-CoV-2. test negative for

The CDC noted an increase in the percentage of laboratory tests and tests positive for both antigen and PCR tests in parts of the South, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico. did. , Oklahoma and Texas.

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In April 2020, researchers observed a decrease in RSV activity, possibly due to the adoption of public health measures to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“Since this elevated seasonal activity is a deviation in the typical circulation pattern for RSV, it is not possible to estimate the potential spread, peak, or duration of activity with any certainty at this time,” the CDC wrote.

The CDC said RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under one year of age in the US.

As RSV levels plummeted in 2020, the agency said infants and children may be at increased risk of serious illness from the virus because they did not have specific levels of exposure to RSV during the past 15 months.

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Symptoms in young infants may include irritability, poor feeding, lethargy or apnea. In older infants, symptoms may include loss of appetite, cough, sneezing, fever, and sometimes wheezing.

The CDC said symptoms in adults are generally consistent with those of an upper respiratory tract infection, including rhinorrhea, pharyngitis, cough, headache, fatigue and fever.

Each year in the US, RSV causes an average of about 58,000 hospitalizations, with 100–500 deaths in children under the age of five, and 17,000 hospitalizations with 14,000 deaths in adults 65 years of age or older. Huh.

There is currently no specific treatment other than RSV infection symptom management.

The news comes as worrying new forms of coronavirus infection are being detected across the US and globally – rising concerns and possibly more infectious strains could hinder the recent decline of cases in the country.

In April, Moderna’s CEO, Stefan Bansel, said he expected the world to see multiple coronavirus variants in the coming months as it races to vaccinate the population against COVID-19 and contain the pandemic.

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“I guess in the next year or so, we’re going to see a lot of variations,” Bansal said on Wednesday during an interview with CNBC. “Squawk Box.” “But as more and more people get vaccinated or naturally infected, the variant is going to slow down and the virus is going to stabilize like you see with the flu.”