Relative timing of respiratory syncytial virus epidemics in summer 2021 across the United States was similar to a typical winter season

Abstract

We used a validated proxy of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activity in the United States (Google search data) to evaluate the onsets of RSV epidemics in 2021 and 2016–2019. Despite the unusual out-of-season summer timing, the relative timing of RSV epidemics between states in 2021 shared a similar spatial pattern with typical winter RSV seasons. Our results suggest that the onset of RSV epidemics in Florida can serve as a baseline to adjust the initiation of prophylaxis administration and clinical trials in other states regardless of the seasonality of RSV epidemics.