The Pennsylvania Department of Health released a health advisory on October 27, 2022. Below is a summary. Click here to view the full advisory.
Increased Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Activity Nationally and in Pennsylvania
- Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activity is increasing in Pennsylvania and nationwide, and levels are higher than usual for this time of year.
- Clinicians and caregivers should be aware of age-related variations in the clinical presentation of RSV.
- Clinicians should consider testing patients presenting with acute respiratory illness who have a negative SARS-CoV-2 test for non-SARS-CoV-2 respiratory pathogens, such as RSV and influenza. Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) is the preferred method of testing for respiratory viruses.
- Clinicians should report laboratory-confirmed RSV cases to Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) through Pennsylvania’s electronic reportable disease surveillance system, PA-NEDSS. Outbreaks or clusters of severe respiratory illness regardless of etiology should be reported to PA DOH or your local health department.
- Administer prophylactic palivizumab to high-risk infants and young children per AAP guidance.
- Healthcare personnel, childcare providers, and staff of long-term care facilities should avoid reporting to work while acutely ill – even if they test negative for SARS-CoV-2.
- Encourage parents and caregivers to keep young children with acute respiratory illnesses out of childcare, even if they have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.
- Encourage all individuals to receive influenza and COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible to protect themselves against those respiratory viruses and avoid associated complications.
- Clinicians can review weekly updates to the NREVSS website and refer to surveillance data collected by local hospitals and health departments for information on RSV circulation trends in Pennsylvania.
- If you have additional questions about this guidance, please contact DOH at 1-877-PA- HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) or your local health department.