RSV Drug For Infants In Short Supply

doctor listens to small child with stethoscope
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Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a common illness that—for most—looks like a common cold. But for infants, it can be an intense illness, leading to hospitalization. That’s why it was a relief for parents and physicians when an immunization drug for all infants was approved in July.

However, it’s become clear the demand for the drug is greater than the supply. This week, the CDC issued an alert about the drug’s limited availability, and recommended that only infants under 6 months and those with underlying health conditions receive it until further notice. An RSV spike in the southern US has reached seasonal epidemic levels, a sign that transmission will likely climb in other areas soon.

Katherine J. Wu, science writer for The Atlantic, joins guest host Flora Lichtman to chat about this story as well as mouse mummies in the Andes, Hurricane Otis defying forecasts, a secret benefit of “Asian glow,” and other big news from the week.

Segment Guests

Katherine J. Wu

Katherine Wu is a staff writer at The Atlantic based in Boston, Massachusetts.

Segment Transcript

The transcript of this segment is being processed. It will be available within one week after the show airs.

Meet the Producers and Host

About Kathleen Davis

Kathleen Davis is a producer at Science Friday, which means she spends the week brainstorming, researching, and writing, typically in that order. She’s a big fan of stories related to strange animal facts and dystopian technology.

About Flora Lichtman

Flora Lichtman was the host of the podcast Every Little Thing. She’s a former Science Friday multimedia producer.

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