Perturbations in Respiratory Syncytial Virus Activity During the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic

J Infect Dis. 2022 Dec 28;227(1):83-86. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiac434.


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of respiratory disease in all age groups, with young children and older adults experiencing the most severe illness. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in striking changes in the activity of seasonal respiratory viruses, including RSV. After a period of suppression early in the pandemic, an interseasonal surge of RSV occurred in 2021. Viral activity was detected primarily in children and young adults after relaxation of public health measures, but without the usual proportional increases in infections and hospitalizations in older adults who were likely still adhering to stricter public health measures.

Keywords: epidemiology; respiratory syncytial virus; viral testing.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections* / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Young Adult