RSV Effects on the Elderly
Study shows that older adults over the age of 75 hospitalized with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) experience worse outcomes than if hospitalized with COVID-19 or the flu. The study, conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and later published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, analyzed 5,784 adults over the age of 60 who were hospitalized at 25 different hospitals in the US for RSV, COVID-19 or flu, of whom 5.3% had RSV, 81.8% had COVID-19, and 12.9% had the flu They found that between February 2022 and May 2023, hospitalizations for RSV were less common compared to hospitalizations for flu or COVID-19, but the RSV hospitalizations were correlated with more severe disease.
In terms of treatment, people who were in the hospital with RSV were more likely than those with COVID-19 or flu to receive standard-flow oxygen, high-flow nasal cannula, or noninvasive ventilation, or to be admitted to the intensive care unit at the hospital, but the findings yielded similar death results for COVID and RSV, while RSV had a higher death rate than those hospitalized with influenza.
Researchers iterated that the danger lies in the lack of knowledge concerning RSV as a serious issue for older adults, preventing clinicians from properly treating the disease. Fortunately, the CDC announced that RSV vaccines are available for the first time ever, encouraging all people over 60 to get this new vaccine.
“Taking the new vaccine could greatly decrease symptoms and the risk of hospitalization in older adults, and we at Specialty RX highly recommend all those over 60 do so” – Joe Kubulak, COO