Respiratory Syncytial Virus
Contact: Florida Health
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Young children and older adults, especially those with certain underlying health conditions, are at higher risk for severe illness from RSV. Prophylaxis is available for children who qualify. For more information, contact your health care provider.
A statewide RSV surveillance system was implemented in Florida to support clinical decision-making for prophylaxis of premature infants.
Figure 27 (above) shows Florida’s RSV regional season breakdown. Regions that are currently in RSV season are marked with orange stars.
The determination of unique seasonal and geographic trends of RSV activity in Florida has important implications for prescribing patterns for initiating prophylaxis to children at high risk for complications from RSV infection. The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends preapproval for prophylactic treatment be made based on state surveillance data. For more information on RSV surveillance systems used in Florida, see the last page of this report.
Florida’s RSV season is longer than the rest of the nation and has distinct regional patterns. The Florida Department of Health established regional RSV seasons based on activity thresholds provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (see Figure 27). Currently, three of Florida’s regions are in RSV season.
To learn more about RSV in Florida, please visit: www.floridahealth.gov/rsv
Week 15 (April 7-13, 2019) Activity Summary
In week 15, RSV activity in children <5 years old was stable. Levels were above those observed at this time in previous years.
No new possible RSV-associated pediatric deaths were identified in week 15. One possible RSV-associated pediatric death has been identified so far in 2019.
No new outbreaks of RSV were reported in week 15. A total of 10 outbreaks of RSV have been reported since October 2018.
Figure 28: In week 15, the percent of emergency department and urgent care center visits for RSV among children <5 years was stable. Levels were above those observed at this time in previous years.
*The overall trend displayed in Figure 28 has been validated through review of hospital discharge data collected by the Agency for Health Care Administration.
Figure 28 (to the left) shows the percent of emergency department and urgent care center visits with discharge diagnoses that include respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) or RSV-associated illness among children <5 years*, as reported in ESSENCE-FL, week 30, 2015 to week 15, 2019.
View the full summary for more information.
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:
- Historical Surveillance Information
- RSV Articles and Additional Information
- MMWR Brief Report: Respiratory Syncytial Virus Activity (March 5, 2010)
- MMWR Brief Report: Respiratory Syncytial Virus Activity (December 7, 2007)
- RSV: Respiratory virus can be life threatening (December 17, 2007)
Additional RSV Information:
*Note: This page contains materials in the Portable Document Format (PDF). The free Acrobat Reader may be required to view these files.