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Respiratory Syncytial Virus Gets Early Start in 2005

CDC data suggest that season started in October, several weeks earlier than in 2004

TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The peak season for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) began mid-October in the southern United States this year, and health-care providers should consider RSV as a possible diagnosis and provide prophylaxis for high-risk populations, according to a report in the Dec. 16 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Preliminary data reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System suggests that RSV began circulating earlier this year than in the 2004 season, which began in mid-November and lasted 21 weeks.

Since October 2005, 62 of the 84 laboratories testing for RSV (in 38 states), have reported RSV infections.

"Since the 2005-2006 annual seasonal activity of RSV has begun, physicians should consider RSV in the differential diagnosis for persons of all ages with lower respiratory tract infection and should begin administering monthly prophylaxis to children who are at risk for serious RSV infection, including some premature infants or infants and children with chronic lung and heart disease," the CDC recommends.

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