RSV adult hospitalization rate 9 times higher than in 2018-2019

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Tuesday, November 22, 2022 12:51AM
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Amid nationwide coverage of the RSV crisis in children, public health experts warn that the virus is also dangerous for grandparents.

Amid nationwide coverage of the RSV crisis in children, public health experts warn that the virus is also dangerous for grandparents.

Every year, thousands of older adults die of RSV.

Right now, RSV hospitalization rates in adults are about 9 times higher than the 2018-2019 season and nearly 2 times higher than the 2021-2022 season at the same time of the year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Officials say we are seeing the highest adult RSV hospitalization rates in adults in the past 9 years for this time of the season.

Each year, an estimated 60,000 to 120,000 older adults are hospitalized and 6,000 to 10,000 die due to RSV infection, according to the CDC.

Those highest at risk for severe RSV infection include adults 65 years and older, those with chronic heart or lung disease and those with weakened immune systems.

In addition, RSV can sometimes lead to worsening of serious conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure.

Adults at risk are are urged to take extra precautions like frequent hand washing, avoid close contact with anyone who is sick, cover your coughs and sneezes and clean and disinfect surfaces.

There is no vaccine for RSV, but scientists continue to work hard to develop one.

RSV hospitalization rates for adults (18+):