Respiratory syncytial virus and other respiratory virus infections in residents of homeless shelters - King County, Washington, 2019-2021

Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2023 Jun 19;17(6):e13166. doi: 10.1111/irv.13166. eCollection 2023 Jun.


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes disproportionate morbidity and mortality in vulnerable populations. We tested residents of homeless shelters in Seattle, Washington for RSV in a repeated cross-sectional study as part of community surveillance for respiratory viruses. Of 15 364 specimens tested, 35 had RSV detected, compared to 77 with influenza. The most common symptoms for both RSV and influenza were cough and rhinorrhea. Many individuals with RSV (39%) and influenza (58%) reported that their illness significantly impacted their ability to perform their regular activities. RSV and influenza demonstrated similar clinical presentations and burden of illness in vulnerable populations living in congregate settings.

Keywords: homeless youth; human; ill‐housed persons; influenza; respiratory syncytial virus infections; respiratory syncytial viruses.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Ill-Housed Persons*
  • Influenza, Human* / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections* / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human*
  • Viruses*
  • Washington / epidemiology