The new report* looks at respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), one of the most common causes of pediatric respiratory infections. Transmission is seasonal and the virus is spread through the air by an infected individual’s sneeze or cough. Virtually all children will have been infected by age two. The virus usually presents mild cold-like symptoms in most children, but around 1% of sufferers can develop severe complications requiring hospitalization, and are put at risk of developing long-term respiratory illnesses such as bronchiolitis, pneumonia, wheezing and allergic asthma later on in life. Among children under the age of five, approximately one of 334 hospitalizations, one of 38 visits to the emergency department, and one of 13 visits to a primary care office each year can be attributed to the disease.
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Winter colds can sometimes be a serious threat to health in a child’s early years, and some viruses can even warrant prophylaxis in the case of immunosuppressed infants. The prophylactic population for RSV includes children most at risk for severe RSV infections comprising of infants under two years of age with certain congenital respiratory, neuromuscular and heart diseases. These conditions result in weak respiratory muscles, limited lung function, and a limited oxygen supply, making it difficult for the infant to clear the airways effectively. Preterm infants, classified here as prematurely born before 36 weeks of gestation, are also recommended to receive prophylaxis, as are infants under 2 years old with neonatal chronic lung disease, which is a persisting respiratory problem common in premature babies as a result of their lungs being underdeveloped and prone to injury.
The RSV prophylactic populations therefore depend upon trends in birth and congenital defect incidence. GlobalData epidemiologists estimate that RSV infections in children under the age of two will increase from 8.03 million cases in 2012 to 8.87 million cases in 2022 at the rate of 1.04% per year, with the prophylactic populations expected to increase at the same rate in turn, due to projected population growth in the future. The incidence of preterm births and neonatal diseases are expected to remain relatively constant, but the mortality rate for congenital heart disease is expected to decrease, thereby increasing the population eligible for prophylaxis.
This report provides an overview of the risk factors for severe RSV infections, as well as a 10-year epidemiology forecast of primary, secondary, and hospitalized RSV infections and RSV prophylactic populations in children aged 0–2 years in the US.
This report was built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis conducted by GlobalData’s team of industry experts.
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