Health

Seniors Are Experiencing Record-High RSV Cases

The latest CDC data from November shows this year, the rate of hospitalization for seniors with RSV is already 10 times higher than average.

Seniors Are Experiencing Record-High RSV Cases
Steven Senne / AP
SMS

Older adults are being hospitalized for RSV at record high rates.  

Dr. June McKoy says she’s concerned about the triple threat RSV, flu and COVID presents to senior patients. 

"The chest cavity becomes a little smaller because of arthritic changes, osteoporosis and so on," she said. "And so the ability to expand and exchange air is not as good. And then now you introduce an infection."

The CDC says on average up to 120,000 older adults are hospitalized with RSV each year. As many 10,000 die from infection. The latest CDC data from November shows this year, the rate is already 10 times higher for hospitalizations.  

Currently, scientists are in late-stage clinical trials for RSV vaccines in seniors. Pfizer, GSK and Moderna are all studying jabs for those 60 and up.  

Dr. Caros Blanco, CEO of the Lynn Institute, has been helping with RSV vaccine trials.  

"It's hard to offer a guess but I would say definitely within 12 to 16 months we should have a vaccine available," he said. 

He says initial findings are promising, giving hope for keeping more people healthy in the future.

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