Following increases in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activity in parts of the U.S., public health officials are encouraging broader RSV testing among patients who present with acute respiratory illness who test negative for SARS-CoV-2. In a June 10 health advisory, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that, since late March, increases in lab detections and in the percentages of positive detections for both antigen and PCR testing have been reported in several states, primarily in the southern U.S. Due to less circulation of RSV this past winter, older infants and toddlers may now be at greater risk for severe RSV-associated illness because they have likely not had typical levels of exposure to RSV during the past year.
In addition to encouraging RSV testing, CDC’s advisory urged clinicians and caregivers to be aware of the typical clinical presentation of RSV for different age groups and to report lab-confirmed cases and suspected clusters of severe respiratory illness to local and state health departments. Health care personnel, childcare providers, and staff at long-term care facilities are also reminded to avoid reporting to work while acutely ill, even if they test negative for SARS-CoV-2. CNN and the Miami Herald, among other media outlets, covered CDC’s advisory.