Cases of RSV Dramatically Down As Pandemic Wears On

Experts believe social behaviors to stop COVID-19 have led to a near absence of the respiratory illness that can seriously sicken newborns and young children

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As our society's behavior has changed this year with public health measures such as social distancing and wearing masks, the spread of RSV has decreased dramatically, according to Children's Health in Dallas.

Doctors say that while RSV typically emerges in September and October and by November, the seasonal epidemic is in full swing in North Texas, that has not been the case in 2020.

Last year, Children’s Health saw almost 600 cases of RSV in November.

This past November, the hospital reported zero positive cases.

This year, local and Texas state data reveal a near absence of RSV, and according to the CDC, this pattern is being observed throughout the country.

NBC 5 Health Reporter Bianca Castro talked with Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Health in Dallas and Professor at UT Southwestern, on the trend and on the COVID-19 vaccine in children.

RSV accounts for up to 199,000 global deaths per year in children less than 5 years old and is the third most common cause of death, secondary to pneumonia in this age group.

RSV hospitalization rates in young children far exceed those of influenza.

There is no available vaccine for RSV.

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