Assessing the burden of respiratory syncytial virus disease in Australia

Hannah C Moore and Christopher C Blyth
Med J Aust 2019; 210 (10): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50173
Published online: 3 June 2019

National reporting for all age groups is needed to accurately determine the full burden of disease

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a pathogen of global importance, responsible each year for more than 33 million infections, 3.2 million hospitalisations, and 59 600 in‐hospital deaths of children under 5 years of age.1 The full burden of disease is likely to be much higher, as 50% of deaths occur outside hospitals.2 The World Health Organization regards RSV vaccine development as a global priority,3 and RSV vaccines have been short‐listed for the Global Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) vaccine investment strategy; several vaccine candidates and monoclonal antibodies are being investigated, and it is anticipated that commercial vaccines will be available by 2025.4,5 Gaps in knowledge about the epidemiology of RSV — accurate burden of disease estimates, its long term effects, seasonal transmission dynamics, the cost of RSV‐related disease — need to be filled to guide vaccine policy and implementation.6

  • Hannah C Moore1
  • Christopher C Blyth1,2

  • 1 Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, Telethon Kids Institute, Perth, WA
  • 2 University of Western Australia, Perth, WA

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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