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Gantenberg JR, van Aalst R, Zimmerman N, Limone B, Chaves SS, La Via WV, Nelson CB, Rizzo C, Savitz DA, Zullo AR. Medically Attended Illness due to Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection Among Infants Born in the United States Between 2016 and 2020. The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2022 Aug 15; 226(Suppl 2):S164-S174.
BACKGROUND: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of infant hospitalization in the United States. Preterm infants and those with select comorbidities are at highest risk of RSV-related complications. However, morbidity due to RSV infection is not confined to high-risk infants. We estimated the burden of medically attended (MA) RSV-associated lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) among infants in the United States. METHODS: We analyzed commercial (MarketScan Commercial [MSC], Optum Clinformatics [OC]), and Medicaid (MarketScan Medicaid [MSM]) insurance claims data for infants born between April 2016 and February 2020. Using both specific and sensitive definitions of MA RSV LRTI, we estimated the burden of MA RSV LRTI during infants'' first RSV season, stratified by gestational age, comorbidity status, and highest level of medical care associated with the MA RSV LRTI diagnosis. RESULTS: According to the specific definition 75.0% (MSC), 78.6% (MSM), and 79.6% (OC) of MA RSV LRTI events during infants'' first RSV season occurred among term infants without known comorbidities. CONCLUSIONS: Term infants without known comorbidities account for up to 80% of the MA RSV LRTI burden in the United States during infants'' first RSV season. Future prevention efforts should consider all infants.