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RSV cases rising: 1 in 4 St. Louisans have heard it

Infections from Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in Missouri have reached their highest rates since early 2023. Among St. Louis adults surveyed, 27% had heard about rising RSV rates in the last 7 days. Adults ages 40 and older were more likely to hear about it than those under 40 (36% vs 19%), as were African American adults compared to Whites (32% vs 21%).

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 32% of RSV tests in Missouri have been positive over the most recent 3-week period. This is 17 times higher than the rate of positive tests in September. RSV cases are rising nationally, as well.

RSV immunization for infants and a vaccine for older adults and pregnant people is now available. The vaccine is 94% effective in protecting against severe RSV-related illness. Only 11% of Missouri adults ages 60 and older are vaccinated against RSV as of last month.

Community organizations in St. Louis can help protect residents from RSV infection by providing information about and access to RSV vaccines. St. Louisans can call their healthcare provider or check with local pharmacies to schedule an RSV vaccination appointment. The CDC says it is safe to give the RSV vaccine at the same time as other vaccines.

This week’s report is based on 151 responses from a panel of adult residents of St. Louis City and County surveyed from Saturday, December 9, to Monday, December 11, 2023. Explore these data and more at iHeardSTL.

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CDC recommends adults 60 and older get a single dose of RSV vaccine after discussion with their health care provider. Two options are available for protection of infants against RSV: maternal vaccine for the pregnant person and immunization given to the baby. Only one of these options is needed for most babies to be protected.

#iHeardSTL #RSV #RSVVaccination #GetVaccinated #RespiratoryInfection

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