Low levels of respiratory syncytial virus activity in Europe during the 2020/21 season: what can we expect in the coming summer and autumn/winter?

Jojanneke van Summeren, Adam Meijer, Guðrún Aspelund, Jean Sebastien Casalegno, Guðrún Erna, Uy Hoang, Bruno Lina, VRS study group in Lyon; Simon de Lusignan, Anne C Teirlinck, Valtýr Thors, John Paget


Since the introduction of non-pharmacological interventions to control COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activity in Europe has been limited. Surveillance data for 17 countries showed delayed RSV epidemics in France (≥ 12 w) and Iceland (≥ 4 w) during the 2020/21 season. RSV cases (predominantly small children) in France and Iceland were older compared with previous seasons. We hypothesise that future RSV epidemic(s) could start outside the usual autumn/winter season and be larger than expected. Year-round surveillance of RSV is of critical importance.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; RSV; Respiratory syncytial virus; epidemiology; surveillance data.

Full article here.