Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is recognized as one of the most common causes of childhood illness.
More specifically, RSV is the leading cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in U.S. children aged less than one year, and especially infants born prematurely. Each year in the United States, approximately 75,000 to 125,000 children aged <5 years are hospitalized because of RSV complications. Palivizumab (Synagis®) is a monthly prophylactic treatment that has reduced the incidence of RSV infections in high risk infants and children by about half during a typical RSV season. Palivizumab is not typically covered by insurance companies without prior authorization of eligibility criteria brought forth from organizations such as The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Montana RSV testing data may lead to improved clinical decision making for Palivizumab authorization at the local level for several reasons:
- Detecting unusually early, or late, RSV season onset/offset, and providing urgent or unnecessary Palivizumab authorization or declination.
- Detecting an unusually late RSV season so Palivizumab use can be conserved for those infants who have received <5 doses after RSV season begins.
- More accurately describing RSV season onset and offset for future planning.