Children's Hospitals Strained After Climbing Cases In Respiratory Illnesses In Kids

  • Physicians are reporting a sharp increase in cases of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), creating capacity issues in several children's hospitals in the U.S. before the typically busier winter months.
  • Juan Salazar, physician in chief at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford said "We aren't there yet, but we obviously have to be prepared." 
  • RSV is an easily transmissible virus through droplets from coughing and sneezing and on surfaces infecting the respiratory tract. 
  • "We're seeing the co-circulation of four or five viruses that are not unusual in the sense that they're not rare," he said, while noting that it is unusual to see them all circulating together at this time of year. 
  • There is no vaccine for RSV. Many companies, however, are racing to develop one. 
  • Most recently, GSK plc GSK announced positive Phase 3 trial results for its RSV vaccine candidate for adults aged 60 years and above. 
  • The vaccine candidate was highly efficacious, demonstrating overall vaccine efficacy of 82.6% against RSV lower respiratory tract disease (RSV-LRTD), meeting the trial's primary endpoint.
  • The EMA endorsed AstraZeneca Plc's AZN Beyfortus (nirsevimab) to prevent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) lower respiratory tract disease in infants.
  • Children's hospitals have reported that other respiratory viruses, such as the rhinovirus or enteroviruses, which cause common cold-like symptoms but can trigger more serious disease, have also fueled hospitalizations.
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