RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) made headlines in late 2022, calling attention to a vast number of patients flooding inpatient and outpatient settings of care. “RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most recover in a week or two, but RSV can be serious, especially for infants and older adults.” (CDC) During a one-week period in October, more than 8000 RSV antigen and PCR tests came back positive, according to the CDC, more than double the number of positive tests for the same period last year.
Kythera Labs used our claims database and looked at the spread of RSV across the country during the time period from July 2022 through December 24, 2022. Because of coding disparities and different testing practices, this analysis includes diagnoses typically related to RSV rather than relying on an RSV diagnosis alone. The following diagnoses were used in this analysis: Acute Bronchiolitis Due to RSV, RSV, Acute Bronchitis Due to RSV, and RSV Pneumonia.
While RSV impacts persons of all ages, this analysis focuses on RSV and related respiratory illnesses that impact the younger age cohorts, including those under Age 5, Ages 5-9, and Ages 10-14.
Like other respiratory viruses, RSV infections typically occur during late fall and early winter. Unlike other years, in 2022, RSV began to appear in late summer and exploded in early fall. Infectious disease experts believe this may be due, in part, to the COVID pandemic, during which people avoided indoor spaces like classrooms, daycare centers, and social activities where children were exposed to common viruses, including RSV, that helped to strengthen their immunity.
From July 2022 through December 24, 2022, virtually every state had children diagnosed with RSV and RSV- related respiratory illness, and 15% of diagnosed patients required hospitalization.
RSV began to appear in the summer months in the Eastern and South Central states, and as the year progressed, the number of diagnosed cases grew and spread to the Western States later in the year.
The number of patients with select RSV diagnoses grew 582.8% from July to November. The number of States with over 500 RSV-diagnosed patients in the youngest age cohorts grew from 2 states in July to 18 states during the peak in October. The following map shows patients ages 5 through 14, as a percentage of the population in each state, who were diagnosed with RSV and related respiratory illnesses and the spread of RSV over time.
For most geographic regions in the U.S., the number of RSV cases has continued to decrease since the end of 2022. This analysis retrospectively looks at the worst months of RSV illness; however, using claims data, one can track cases of illnesses such as RSV or flu in real time. Kythera Labs’ claims database, delivered through Wayfinder, our data science platform, provides easy-to-access, timely, actionable insights for organizations that work to improve patient outcomes. To learn more about our data, Wayfinder, or Kythera Labs, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Note: The maps show the number of unique patients diagnosed with RSV or other respiratory diagnoses commonly associated with RSV. The states with darker shading had the highest number of diagnosed patients. The maps are filtered to include only age cohorts Under Age 5, Ages 5-9 and Ages 10-14, and to the following diagnoses: Acute Bronchiolitis Due to RSV, RSV, Acute Bronchitis Due to RSV, and RSV Pneumonia.
Enhancing the accuracy and utility of pricing transparency data with claims data and a powerful data analysis platform.
Machine learning and AI can make the healthcare data explosion Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR).