Respiratory Syncytial Virus Reinfections in Children in Western Australia

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Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) reinfection in children is poorly understood. We examined the incidence, characteristics, and outcomes of hospital-attended RSV reinfections in children <16 years in Western Australia between 2012 and 2022. Individuals with repeat RSV detections ≥56 days apart were identified using laboratory data. The incidence of reinfection in the first five years of life was estimated using the total birth population from 2012 to 2017. Clinical data on a subset of reinfection episodes were obtained from two metropolitan pediatric centers. A total of 466 children with hospital-attended reinfections were identified. The median interval between RSV detections was 460 days (interquartile range: 324, 812), with a reinfection rate of 95 per 100,000 individuals (95% confidence interval: 82, 109). Reinfection was most common in children who experienced their first RSV detection <6 months of age. Predisposing factors were identified in 56% of children; children with predisposing factors were older at first and second detections, were more likely to be admitted, and had a longer length of stay. This study highlights the significant burden of hospital-attended RSV reinfections in children with and without predisposing factors. Expanded surveillance with in-depth clinical data is required to further characterize the impact of RSV reinfection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2417
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2023


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