New Project Underway to Prevent Flu, RSV

Ensure patients have knowledge and resources to mitigate symptoms and prevent spread

(October 25, 2023) A new national campaign, spearheaded by the AOA, is underwaylungs respiratory to enhance knowledge and skills to prevent infection and implement influenza and RSV interventions. Representatives from six osteopathic state associations, including the OOA, met with AOA staff this week to review the project goals and timeline.

In addition to identifying evidenced-based best practices for physicians and health care teams, project participants will develop communication messages, education materials, and resources that DOs can use with patients.

RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) is a common and contagious virus that typically produces mild symptoms but can put older or chronically ill patients at serious risk. According to the CDC, an estimated 60,000 to 160,000 older adults are hospitalized with RSV each year, and 6,000 to 10,000 die annually from the infection.

A national survey conducted during the summer showed seven in 10 adults over age 50 said they had not heard about the new RSV vaccine. In addition, 60% reported hearing or reading little to nothing about RSV itself. Pollsters say these low levels of awareness were consistent across gender, race/ethnicity, education, and income.

In addition to the OOA, other participants include the Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of California; Florida Osteopathic Medical Association; Michigan Osteopathic Association; Oklahoma Osteopathic Association; and Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association.

The AOA has an RSV toolkit here.

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