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The Seasonality of Respiratory Syncytial Virus in Western Australia Prior to Implementation of SARS-CoV-2 Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions
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  • Cara Minney-Smith,
  • David Foley,
  • Chisha Sikazwe,
  • Avram Levy,
  • David Smith
Cara Minney-Smith
PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA

Corresponding Author:cara.minney-smith@health.wa.gov.au

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David Foley
PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA
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Chisha Sikazwe
PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA
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Avram Levy
PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA
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David Smith
PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA
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Background Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) seasonality is dependent on the local climate. We assessed the stability of RSV seasonality prior to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Western Australia (WA), a state spanning temperate and tropical regions. Method RSV laboratory testing data were collected from January 2012 to December 2019. WA was divided into three regions determined by population density and climate; Metropolitan, Northern and Southern. Season threshold was calculated per region at 1.2% annual cases, with onset the first of ≥2 weeks above this threshold and offset as the last week before ≥2 weeks below. Results The incidence of RSV in WA was 6.3/10,000. The Northern region had the highest incidence (15/10,000), more than 2.5 times the Metropolitan region (IRR 2.7; 95% CI, 2.6-2.9). Test percentage positive was similar in the Metropolitan (8.6%) and Southern (8.7%) regions, with the lowest in the Northern region (8.1%). RSV seasons in the Metropolitan and Southern regions occurred annually, with a single peak and had consistent timing and intensity. The Northern tropical region did not experience a distinct season. Proportion of RSV A to RSV B in the Northern region differed from the Metropolitan region in 5 of the 8 years studied. Conclusions Incidence of RSV in WA is high, especially in the Northern region, where climate, an expanded at-risk population, and increased testing may have contributed to greater numbers. Before the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, RSV seasonality WA was consistent in timing and intensity for the Metropolitan and Southern regions.
07 Oct 2022Submitted to Influenza and other respiratory viruses
08 Oct 2022Submission Checks Completed
08 Oct 2022Assigned to Editor
13 Oct 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
01 Dec 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
04 Dec 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Major
27 Jan 20231st Revision Received
30 Jan 2023Submission Checks Completed
30 Jan 2023Assigned to Editor
05 Feb 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
14 Feb 2023Editorial Decision: Accept