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During the 2022-2023 season, pediatric hospitalizations for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) doubled compared to the previous year. This information comes from a study in JAMA Network Open involving 700,000 children, examining RSV-related hospitalizations and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions from July 1, 2017, to March 31, 2023. The hospitalization rate was 289.1 per 100,000 children in 2021-2022, which is consistent with the rates from 2017 to 2020. However in the following year, the 2022-2023 season saw an earlier peak, more than a month sooner, and resulted in twice the number of total hospitalizations (770.0 per 100,000, totaling 4,977 admissions). Additionally, the highest weekly admissions during 2022-2023 were significantly higher than expected across all age groups. The proportion of children admitted to the ICU increased to 11.4% in 2021-2022 and 13.9% in 2022-2023, compared to 9.6%-11.0% in prepandemic seasons.

Summing it up: In summary the authors say, “there was a near absence of RSV in 2020-2021; a slightly earlier and less burdensome season in 2021-2022, followed by an atypical out-of-season persistence of RSV admissions throughout 2022 and a much earlier-than-expected and historically intense season in 2022-2023.”

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RSV Rates Doubled During 2022-2023 Flu Season
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