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Disease Areas - Respiratory Syncytial Virus

RSV causes substantial mortality and morbidity among infants and children under the age of 2 years, with an estimated annual incidence >3.5 million in the US).  Worldwide mortality rates in children under 5 years of age are estimated at 200,000, and there are infant deaths occuring in the US every year with reported numbers ranging from 500-4,500. 

Bronchiolitis, due to RSV, is the most common cause of hospitalization among infants during the first 12 months of life, and an estimated 310,000 cases of children under 5 are hospitalised per annum in the United States (US) and EU (European Union). There is also a strong association between RSV infection in infants and recurrent wheezing, as well as reported increased rates of asthma, later in childhood. Infection in young adults also occurs but both the frequency and severity are lower than that observed in young children.

RSV causes a significant disease burden in the elderly particularly those with respiratory or cardiac comorbidities. RSV is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in this population, with an estimated 175,000 hospitalisations and 10,000 deaths in the US annually.

RSV poses a serious threat in adult patients who are immunosuppressed following lung or haemopoetic stem cell transplantation (SCT) with a reported 10-17% of SCT patients contracting RSV. Adults with chronic respiratory disease are a high risk population, with over 25% of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) diagnosed with RSV during exacerbations,  which can lead to serious often fatal pneumonia.