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Respiratory Syncytial Virus

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Florida's Respiratory Syncytial Virus Surveillance

A statewide Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) surveillance system was implemented in Florida in 1999 to support clinical decision-making for prophylaxis of premature infants. RSV infections usually occur during the late fall, winter, or early spring months (CDC). Data collected by the Florida RSV surveillance system from 1999 - present allow us to identify geographical regions where high infection rates also occur during the summer month.

Data are collected weekly from 12 sentinel hospitals throughout Florida. Each site reports the total number of RSV tests performed and the total number positive to the Bureau of Epidemiology via email or fax. Regional and statewide data are made available to public health professionals, health care providers and the public via a website.

RSV activity typically peaks in the months of November through January and is least active in summer. Although summer months typically have less RSV activity in Florida, participating facilities, especially in South Florida, consistently report greater than 10% of laboratory tests as positive in most summer months.

The determination of unique seasonal and geographical trends of RSV activity has important implications as it relates to prescribing patterns for initiating prophylaxis to children at high-risk for RSV infection. The data obtained through RSV surveillance have proven to be a useful guide to Florida's healthcare professionals in understanding the unique seasonal and geographical RSV trends in Florida. This unique trend has also been validated by the CDC.

We really appreciate all of the quality data that our sentinel hospitals provide. If you would like further information regarding becoming a sentinel hospital please contact the Bureau of Epidemiology at (850) 245-4401.

For more information about regional or county specific respiratory disease activity please contact your local county health department.

Current Florida RSV Surveillance Information:

Recent changes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) has led to a reduction in the number of hospitals participating in NREVSS. Those changes are reflected in the most recently published RSV tables and graphs. The Florida Department of Health is reaching out to hospital laboratories to strengthen Florida's RSV surveillance system.

For the most recent trend information please view the final figure (Figure 25) in the Florida Flu Review.

Florida RSV Program Information:

RSV Surveillance Summary

Weeks 33-34: August 12-25, 2018

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activity:

Florida Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Regional Season Breakdown * Denotes regions in season Northwest Region: Escambia Santa Rosa Okaloosa Walton Holmes Washington Bay Jackson Calhoun Gulf Gadsden Liberty Franklin Leon Wakulla Jefferson North: Madison Taylor Hamilton Suwannee Lafayette Dixie Levy Alachua Putnam St. Johns Clay Bradford Union Baker Columbia Nassau Duval * Central: Citrus Marion Volusia Sumter Lake Seminole Brevard Osceola Lake Hillsborough Pinellas Pasco Hernando Orange Flagler Southwest: Polk Okeechobee Manatee Hardee Highlands DeSoto Sarasota Charlotte Lee Collier Hendry Glades * Southeast: Indian River St. Lucie Martin Palm Beach Broward Miami-Dade Monroe
  • In week 34 (ending August 25, 2018), the percent of children <5 years old diagnosed with RSV at EDs and UCCs statewide increased sharply in recent weeks, but remained similar to levels observed at this time in 2017.
  • One RSV outbreak was reported in a Hillsborough County child daycare.
  • Florida’s southeast and central regions are currently in RSV season.
  • No new possible RSV-associated pediatric deaths were identified. Two possible RSVassociated pediatric deaths have been identified so far this year and one of those deaths was ruled out. Investigation will occur to confirm if the remaining death meets case definition. Premature infants and children <2 years with certain underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for complications from RSV infection. Prophylaxis has been shown to reduce complications among high risk children and is available for those who qualify. For more information, contact your physician.
  • To learn more about RSV in Florida, please visit:

RSV seasonality:

  • RSV activity in Florida typically peaks between November and January, though activity can vary dramatically by region. Despite some regions being out of season, RSV continues to circulate at low levels throughout the state.
  • Florida’s RSV season is longer than the rest of the nation and has distinct regional seasonality. For more information on RSV seasonality in Florida, see the American Academy of Pediatrics’ 2015 Red Book.

Other respiratory virus surveillance:

  • In weeks 33-34, the percent of specimens testing positive for rhinovirus remained higher than other respiratory viruses under surveillance.

*Note: This page contains materials in the Portable Document Format (PDF). The free Acrobat Reader may be required to view these files.