What is the mortality and morbidity of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) pneumonia?

Updated: Mar 24, 2021
  • Author: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief Editor: John J Oppenheimer, MD  more...
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RSV pneumonia is responsible for an average of 80,000 pediatric hospitalizations and 500 deaths every year. The mortality rate depends on the patient's immunologic status. In healthy children, the reported mortality rate is 0.5-1.7% but is higher in immunosuppressed patients (< 80-100% in untreated HSCT recipients vs 22% in treated control subjects).

In adults, RSV pneumonia is associated with a mortality rate ranging from 11-78%, depending on the severity of underlying immune suppression. In long-term care facilities, 5-27% of respiratory tract infections have been estimated to be caused by RSV, 10% of which will develop into pneumonia and 1-5% of which will be fatal. [49] In immunocompromised patients, particularly HSCT recipients, the mortality rate for RSV pneumonia is high, at 41%. [41]

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