Thursday, January 25, 2018
To: Infectious Disease Physicians
Infection Control Practitioners
All Laboratory Alliance Clients
From: Paul A. Granato, Ph.D., Director of Microbiology
Russell A. Rawling, M.S., M(ASCP)SM, RM(NRM)SM, Microbiology Manager
As you already know, Central New York is experiencing an unusual and unprecedented influenza season. First, the influenza season started very early with cases detected in September; and, second, until this past week, influenza B, not influenza A, accounted for the great majority of isolates.
This memo is not intended to point out that which you may already know. Instead, this notice is to alert you that Central New York is experiencing an unusually high positivity rate for RSV for this late in the season. Typically, RSV infections begin increasing in mid-November and begin to wane in January. This is not the case for this year.
From December 23, 2017 to January 20, 2018, the RSV positivity rate was 14% while the Flu A and Flu B positivity rates were 11.7% and 13% respectively for over 2,500 specimens tested.
Since the public’s and news media’s attention has been focused on influenza, it is important that practitioners and health care providers still consider RSV as an important cause of respiratory disease as its incidence still remains high in our community.