Respiratory Syncytial Virus: Protecting Older Adults at Risk for Serious Complications

CME: 1.0

Target Audience

This activity was developed for family practice physicians, primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and other healthcare professionals who care for older adults.

Program Overview

Each year, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infects up to 10% of older adults who live in congregate settings and predisposes to an increased risk for hospitalization and death, particularly in those with comorbid cardiopulmonary disease. Stefan Gravenstein, MD, MPH, compares the burden of RSV with other viral infections in older adults and emphasizes the importance of making and how to make the diagnosis. He discusses the symptomatic management, but emphasizes the importance of instituting preventive measures since there are no currently approved medications for acute or preventive treatment of RSV in older adults (as of November 30, 2021). Dr. Gravenstein also highlights several vaccines that are in late phase development to prevent RSV infection in older adults.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be better able to:

  • Discuss the burden of disease related to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in adults
  • Explain the risk factors for RSV infection in adults
  • Identify opportunities to reduce the risk for serious RSV-associated complications in older adults
  • Integrate prophylactic vaccinations related to RSV into the routine management of older adults

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