Alphabet Soup of Respiratory Infection


At the start of this past winter, things were a little dicey. because we were nervous about the trifecta.

That's the flu, RSV and SARSCoV-two, the virus that causes COVID. We heard about kids filling up hospitals with two or all three of these respiratory infections.

Fortunately, it turned out to be a mild flu season. But, Dave, what we didn't anticipate was how much the avian flu would decimate chicken populations.

Yeah, there are still fears about that virus, the H5-N1 could end up circulating among humans and cause the next pandemic. As for COVID, even though it wasn't worse this winter, it was still killing between four to five hundred people a day in the US.

At the start of this year, it's killed one point two million Americans. The plan now is to offer annual COVID vaccines.

Finally, RSV - it's a cold weather virus that normally hits young children but can threaten older adults as well. In fact, over one hundred thousand seniors are hospitalized every year for it.

Until recently, there were no RSV vaccines but there are several in the works. One approach is to attack the virus before the respiratory cells become infected.

The FDA has approved two for older adults and is continuing to review several others. They're up to 85% effective in preventing severe disease and hospitalization.

Here is a really cool part. When pregnant mothers were vaccinated, immunity was transferred to the fetus which would protect the baby in their vulnerable first year of life.

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