Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of acute lower respiratory infections in young children worldwide. RSV-associated deaths in children are underreported in Bangladesh. We analyzed hospital-based surveillance data on severe acute respiratory infections (SARIs) in under-five children before (August 2009–February 2020) and during the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020–March 2022). Using the World Health Organization definition, we identified SARI cases in 14 tertiary-level hospitals. Nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs were collected for real-time reverse-transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) testing of six respiratory viruses, including RSV. SARI deaths during the pandemic (2.6%, 66) were higher than pre-pandemic (1.8%, 159; p < 0.001). Nearly half of pandemic deaths (47%) had underlying respiratory viruses, similar to the pre-pandemic rate (45%). RSV detection in deaths was consistent pre-pandemic (13%, 20/159) and during the pandemic (12%, 8/66). Children aged < 6 months constituted 57% (16) of RSV-related deaths. Evaluating interventions like maternal vaccination and infant monoclonal antibody prophylaxis is crucial to address RSV, a major contributor to under-five SARI deaths.

Original publication




Journal article





Publication Date





111 - 111