By Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH
I have noticed on occasion over the past three years that media hype can well up over an infectious disease threat and then for unexplained reasons the story is dropped without follow-up or resolution. Examples include a global hepatitis outbreak in children, monkeypox, group A strep, and the “tripledemic” of COVID-19, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Some of these news stories escalates to a frenzy and in the case of monkeypox, President Biden declared a national emergency. Americans are wondering to this day where is the monkeypox emergency? How has it impacted our lives? Most doctors including myself have never seen a case! Last fall the fervor over RSV, largely a mild infantile illness amplified to a point where some doctors were pushing for a third national emergency declaration (SARS-CoV-2, monkeypox, RSV). We were told new vaccines would be needed in every human being. Like the other stories, the RSV scare seems to have disappeared in the media cycle.
Concerns may be allayed in some part by a recent paper from Juhn et al of N=2325 adults including frail seniors that demonstrated a negligible risk (1 hospitalization, 0 deaths) with adult RSV usually manageable with outpatient nebulizer treatments for a few days.
If it occurs in infants and small children, a few hours in an urgent care or emergency department may be needed for breathing treatments, but again the outcomes are very favorable and certainly do not warrant vaccination, frightening news stories, or calls for national emergencies.
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Pediatricians Call for National Emergency as Flu, RSV Surge Written by Lisa O’Mary Nov 17 2022
Juhn YJ, Wi CI, Takahashi PY, Ryu E, King KS, Hickman JA, Yao JD, Binnicker MJ, Natoli TL, Evans TK, Sampathkumar P, Patten C, Luyts D, Pirçon JY, Damaso S, Pignolo RJ. Incidence of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection in Older Adults Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Netw Open. 2023 Jan 3;6(1):e2250634. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.50634. PMID: 36662530.