By Kalvin Yu, MD, FIDSA, Vice President of U.S. Medical Affairs and Vikas Gupta, Pharm.D., Director of Medical Affairs
This is our third weekly snapshot of viral infections across the U.S. At the mid-point of November, we are seeing notable continued upticks in RSV and similar rates in flu and COVID-19 as compared to last week.
Here is what our data show through November 12:
The RSV hospital discharge rate was 1.0/100 hospital discharges this week – representing a 2.7-fold increase in discharges at this same point in 2021. Adolescents under 4 years old continue to represent most of these discharges (56 percent), as RSV continues to heavily circulate within this age group.
This week, we saw positive flu hospital discharges at ~1.45/100 hospital discharges – a comparable rate to last week (1.53/100). As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported, the U.S. is experiencing the highest hospitalization rate this early in the flu season since 2010.1 While the flu vaccine is readily available, about five million fewer flu vaccine doses have been administered so far this year as compared to the same time last year in the U.S.2 If this trend continues, we may see further increases in flu related hospitalizations.
COVID-19 hospital discharges slightly increased this week. Discharges remain relatively low compared to peak rates from late November 2021 through early January 2022. This will be a trend worth monitoring in the next couple weeks – particularly given the fact that we are seeing higher rates of other respiratory viral infections (RSV, flu) compared to last season when COVID-19 was dominant due to exposure to the highly contagious Omicron variant.
About BD Infectious Disease Insights
Emerging infectious diseases have been increasing in frequency during the past few decades. None have tested the U.S. health care system’s capacity or resiliency like COVID-19 – forever changing the way that we think about future outbreaks and how we manage the related unintended consequences. The BD Infectious Disease Insights series investigates today’s most prominent infectious disease trends. The series leverages the depth and breadth of our data to serve as an ongoing bellwether on the state of infectious diseases in the U.S., backed by clinical insights on how to increase overall awareness and preparedness.
1 CNBC. Available at: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/11/14/as-flu-hospitalizations-surge-in-the-us-the-southeast-is-the-hardest-hit.html
2 News Medical. Available at: https://www.news-medical.net/news/20221106/Influenza-hospitalizations-at-highest-level-in-ten-years-predicting-a-severe-US-flu-season.aspx
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