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Respiratory Syncytial Virus: Babies

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 167959, tabled on 12 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of respiratory syncytial virus among infants on (a) GP appointments, (b) A&E attendances and (c) hospital admissions in the latest period for which data is available.

Answered on

22 March 2021

From June 2020 to March 2021, the rate of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has been much lower than expected. This is thought to be a result of measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic response, such as social distancing, lock down and masks. The Government extended the use of palivizumab immunisation in October 2020 with an aim to decrease hospitalisation and intensive care admission rates in at risk infants.

The rates of RSV in England are monitored by the Respiratory DataMart system, and this can be found at the following link:

In the past month, the proportion of positive specimens of RSV have been tracked by the Respiratory DataMart at 0.0%.