An offseason spike in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections recently prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to recommend that clinicians consider using palivizumab for high-risk infants in affected areas. A typical RSV season runs from fall through spring with a peak in February, but RSV activity was lower from May of 2020 to early March of 2021, possibly due to measures to mitigate COVID-19. Rising rates of RSV in parts of the country over the last several months prompted a June 10 health advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Issued Aug. 10, AAP’s interim guidance on the administration of palivizumab during this delayed RSV season is the same as for a typical season: Consider administering the humanized monoclonal antibody in up to five monthly doses to prevent RSV infection in high-risk infants and children in areas experiencing high rates of the virus.
“The guidance provides support for the offseason use of palivizumab for communities/regions experiencing significant RSV infections, similar to a winter season,” said Mary T. Caserta, MD, an author of AAP’s recent guidance and a professor of pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York. HealthDay, Healio, and AAP News covered the latest guidance.