Updated April 13, 2016
The RSV season is finishing up in the last several weeks. A group from the TPS ID committee has reviewed RSV epidemiology with the support of Texas DSHS Epidemiology every 2 weeks from mid-September through early April.
Historically some areas of Texas have had an early start to the RSV season compared to the rest of the US, especially the coastal and central Texas regions, starting in October instead of November. This year the coastal areas have had an early start. Region 6, Houston/Galveston had an earlier start than normal, with some activity in late September, then increasing in October. Region 5, Beaumont, also had an early start. We now have better data on this region of the Texas coast.
The season for the state in general started November 1st, peaked in mid-January, and ended in the last week of March. This is a little bit later end than normal. The Northern and Western areas of the states, Region 1, Panhandle, Region 3, DFW, and Region 10, El Paso, usually start the RSV season in November, similar to much of the US.
This year several regions had later start than is normal, Region 1, Panhandle, in late December, Region 7, Austin/Temple, in early November, Region 8, San Antonio, in mid-November, Region 10, El Paso, in mid-December, and Region 11, Rio Grande Valley, in late November.
We usually see an end to the season early in the coastal areas, and in mid-March in many areas. We had concerns about possible late activity in March in regions 7, 8, 11. The data lags about 2 weeks behind real-time activity.
We can look now and see the end of the season. Region 6, Houston/Galveston did not end early as is typical for them, but ended in March. The bulk of activity in the Houston Galveston area was from October through February. Region 7 finished in the last week of March, a couple weeks late for them. Region 8 finished in mid-March, a normal time for them. Region 10 finished in late March, normal for them. Region 11 finished in late March, late for them.
This year in Texas we have continued to see early RSV in the coastal areas. This year we've seen later RSV in several areas. We have had more and more RSV testing by PCR instead of antigen over the past several years. We now have new RSV data presentation graphs that present antigen, PCR, and combined data by region. We hope these clearly reflect the amount of testing by each modality and the RSV epidemic in these areas.
We thank Johnathan Ledbetter at DSHS Epidemiology for his work on gathering and presenting our RSV data. We do not have a clear definition of start and end of the season based on PCR data. We hope you take a peek at the new RSV graphs and let us know if you have comments on them. These are available at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/IDCU/disease/rsv/RSV-Data.doc. There is now about 15 years of regional RSV data in Texas that is a resource for potential examination and analysis. We hope that this information is helpful for providing evidence-based, efficient care for the children of Texas.