MedWatch

RSV caused more than 100,000 child mortalities in 2019

It’s been estimated that the respiratory syncytial virus is responsible for one out of 50 deaths among children younger than five on a global level, climbing to one in 28 for infants younger than six months.

Researchers behind a new study have identified a pressing need to develop more effective RSV vaccines for at-risk children | Photo: Mads Nissen/STF

Acute lower respiratory infections resulting from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was the global cause of more than 100,000 mortalities of children aged five or less, writes Danish media Medicinsk Tidsskrift (”Medical Times”) citing a new study published in The Lancet.

”RSV is the leading cause of acute lower respiratory infections in small children. Our updated estimations reveal that children six months of age and younger are particularly vulnerable. Having been shielded by Covid-19 restrictions, this group has not been exposed to RSV previously and thus has no immunity,” says one of the study’s researches, Haris Nair from the University of Edinburgh, while pointing out that there are a number of RSV vaccines in development, which certain groups, particularly pregnant people in low and middle-income countries, should be considered for.

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