Weather and its effects on RSV A and B infections in infants and children in Korea

Jang Mook Kim, Jae-Sik Jeon, Jae Kyung Kim


The epidemic patterns of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection and the factors determining its seasonality are not well studied in the local society of South Korea.

This study aims to investigate the prevalence of RSV infection in hospitalized children and its relationship with climate change in Cheonan, Korea.

This retrospective study included 2,484 children (aged 0–14 years) who were hospitalized for respiratory tract infections documented RSV test at a tertiary hospital in Cheonan between December 2006 and February 2014. Daily temperature and humidity data during the period were obtained from the Korea Meteorological Administration.

In total, 752 (30 per cent) showed tested positive for RSV infection, and the prevalence was noted to be higher during November and December. RSV A and RSV B were less likely to be detected simultaneously (0.4 per cent). RSV A was more likely to be detected during lower temperatures, lower wind speeds, and shorter daylight hours, and RSV B during lower daily precipitation and higher humidity. RSV infection was predominantly prevalent between November and April. The infection rate of RSV peaked every other year in Korea. Air temperature was associated with the epidemics of RSV infection.

Further understanding of the effect of climate on RSV infection will help in timely prevention using immunoprophylaxis or future vaccines.
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