Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in infants and a cause of severe disease in adults older than age 65 years. Although RSV typically circulates during the winter, during the week ending September 24, 2022, 4.7% of respiratory illness specimens from surveillance in California tested positive for RSV, a level usually not seen until late November [Figure]. It is unknown how long this increased activity will continue.
Persons with RSV infection typically have fever, cough, wheezing and runny nose. Infants and young children may be irritable, lethargic, feed poorly and have no fever. Consider testing for RSV in patients with respiratory symptoms, especially those who test negative for COVID-19.
Persons with acute respiratory symptoms should stay home while ill, especially those who work in health care, childcare, or long-term care, even if they have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.
While there are no vaccines yet to prevent RSV infections, CDPH strongly recommends seasonal influenza vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine to help protect persons 6 months and older.