Review ArticleReducing the Burden of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Across the LifespanSchaffner, William MD† Author Information From the ∗National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), Bethesda, MD †Department of Health Policy, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN. Correspondence to: William Schaffner, MD, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), Suite 750, 7201 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814. E-mail: [email protected]. This publication is based on a National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) roundtable held in November 2021. Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC and Sanofi Pasteur provided funding for this activity. NFID policies (www.nfid.org/grants-policy) restrict funders from controlling program content. The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose. Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: January 2023 - Volume 31 - Issue 1 - e1210 doi: 10.1097/IPC.0000000000001210 Buy Metrics Abstract Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of respiratory infections, which often involve mild, upper respiratory illness, but can cause severe morbidity and mortality across the lifespan. Respiratory syncytial virus is the leading cause of infant hospitalization in the United States and of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children younger than 1 year of age. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, among adults, RSV ranked second only to influenza as a cause of medically significant respiratory illnesses. The economic burden of RSV is substantial, with estimated annual costs for RSV-related hospitalizations exceeding $3 billion in young children and adults. Despite this burden, RSV remains an underappreciated public health concern. Diagnosis of RSV infection is limited by the absence of accurate, rapid, cost-effective, point-of-care tests for adults. In addition, there are currently no RSV vaccines or treatments approved for use across the lifespan. Strategies to reduce the burden of RSV infections may include: (1) increase RSV awareness and education, (2) strengthen RSV public health surveillance and related policies, and (3) increase support for RSV research and innovation. Surveillance systems are needed to understand the true burden of RSV in at-risk populations. The need for improved diagnostic tests and RSV prevention and treatment options remains great. Appropriate use of interventions will rely on raising awareness among health care professionals about the broad clinical spectrum and impact of RSV infection. Using these strategies can reduce the burden of RSV in communities, with a focus on protecting children and older adults who are at greatest risk for RSV infection. Copyright © 2022 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.