June 5, 2024

In The News: Study: Infants Born in Spring, Summer More Likely to Have RSV in First Season

Healio reports on a study published in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society regarding medically attended cases of respiratory syncytial virus. Researchers found that infants born during the spring or summer months were more likely to experience first-season RSV. The intent of their study was to understand the role birth month may have in medically attended RSV risk considering the virus’s seasonal dynamics.

Researchers used birth data from July 2016 through February 2020 from available insurance databases. Eligible infants were placed into three comorbidity groups: healthy term, eligible for palivizumab, and other comorbidities but not eligible for palivizumab. They further categorized medically attended events for these infants at lowest levels of care and highest levels of care.

The findings included those infants born in March had the lowest risk of first-season medically attended RSV. Those born just before the RSV season, from May through September, generally had the highest risk. The overall risk of RSV in the first year of life across birth months was comparable within a base under the definitions. Researchers stressed all infants have about the same overall risk of experiencing a medically attended RSV event. Those who make it through their first RSV season without such an event commonly experience it during their second.

One of the study researchers encouraged further analysis to determine the overall risk of RSV (as opposed to their medically attended RSV determination). Doing so, he said, would necessitate studies detecting RSV in infants outside of health care setting. Additional future research could investigate geographic variability in birth month-specific RSV risks, according to the researcher quoted in the article.

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