April 25, 2023

Progress Report: Reducing the Burden of RSV across the Lifespan

Bethesda, MD (April 25, 2023)—The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) has issued a new report on current efforts and progress in addressing respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in the US. The publication, Progress Report: Reducing the Burden of RSV across the Lifespan, highlights ongoing challenges, such as heightened US disease activity and gaps in diagnostic testing, as well as progress made in RSV surveillance, interventions, and reducing barriers to access. It also outlines pathways to reducing the burden of RSV and addressing RSV-related disparities.

Each year in the US, RSV is estimated to cause more than 58,000 hospitalizations and an estimated 100-300 deaths among children younger than age 5 years. RSV is also increasingly recognized as a significant cause of respiratory illness in adults age 65 years and older, with an estimated 60,000-160,000 hospitalizations and 6,000-10,000 deaths annually in the US. During the 2022-2023 respiratory season, the US saw heightened RSV activity. The virus began circulating in the summer, building to a surge that coincided with COVID-19 and influenza activity, and creating a significant strain on US hospitals.

“RSV remains a major public health threat to individuals of all ages and requires a timely and coordinated public health response to help reduce the burden in the US,” said NFID Medical Director William Schaffner, MD. “The NFID Progress Report provides an overview of the steps taken to date, and highlights how best to prepare for implementation of new interventions.”

The Progress Report details key approaches that will allow the US to capitalize on emerging opportunities for improved prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and surveillance of RSV:

  • Educate stakeholders to build understanding of RSV and its impact across the lifespan, along with support for new interventions
  • Expand surveillance and diagnostics to guide US public health response and facilitate treatment for patients
  • Pursue broad public health recommendations for evidence-based interventions that will be beneficial on a population basis
  • Address implementation and payment issues to best support the introduction and rollout of interventions under review
  • Identify funding and payment sources for preventive interventions

“Although we are encouraged by the progress that has been made in educating the public and healthcare professionals about the impacts of RSV, it remains a broadly underappreciated public health threat, not only among the public but also among healthcare professionals,” said NFID President Patricia A. Stinchfield, RN, MS, CPNP. “In looking ahead to the 2023-2024 respiratory season, we look forward to continued collaboration with partners and stakeholders as we work to build awareness and reduce the burden of RSV in the US.”

The Progress Report serves as a follow-up to the NFID Call to Action: Reducing the Burden of RSV across the Lifespan, published in January 2022. The Call to Action was based on discussions from an NFID-led virtual roundtable held with a multidisciplinary group of stakeholders and subject matter experts.

Additional educational tools, resources, and personal stories about RSV are available at

About the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
Founded in 1973, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to educating and engaging the public, communities, and healthcare professionals about infectious diseases across the lifespan. Visit for more information.

Contact: Diana Olson at

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