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Predictive Analysis Demonstrates a Combined Threat of Flu, RSV, and COVID-19 this Winter

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Analysis from BlueDot for Reckitt’s Lysol Pro Solutions suggests businesses should step up facility protection measures ahead of combined respiratory virus season

PARSIPPANY, N.J., Nov. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — With winter on the horizon, predictive analysis conducted for Reckitt’s Lysol Pro Solutions by data experts at BlueDot Inc.1 suggests that U.S. businesses should anticipate a concurrent rise in flu, RSV, and COVID-19 this year, but that the onset of respiratory virus season will be closer to typical pre-pandemic timing than last year.

Analyzing trends from the southern hemisphere’s winter months – which can serve as an indicator for the northern hemisphere’s respiratory virus season that follows, the research found the following:

FLU ACTIVITY IS LIKELY TO BE MORE PREDICTABLE THAN LAST YEAR:

  • Last year the flu season began, on average, seven weeks earlier than pre-pandemic trends, making it harder for businesses to prepare.
  • This year, signs from the southern hemisphere suggest that the flu season is trending towards pre-pandemic patterns.
  • Businesses can therefore leverage this predictability to ensure they are ramping up protection measures with appropriate timing.

RSV IS ON THE RISE AND IMPACTING CHILDREN IN PARTICULAR:

  • Children in the southern hemisphere have already been affected by RSV in their winter season. The severe surge of infections led to significant hospitalizations in Chile, Brazil, and Uruguay.
  • While RSV activity in the U.S. remains below epidemic threshold nationally, it has been increasing in southern regions since May 2023 based on PCR testing and reported cases.
  • Businesses should prioritize helping to protect facilities against RSV – particularly those frequented by children, such as schools and daycare centers.

COVID-19 ACTIVITY HAS BEEN DECLINING BUT IS EXPECTED TO INCREASE:

  • After a respite during the warmer months, a late summer wave of COVID-19 began in the southern U.S. and is now affecting the north-eastern U.S.2
  • As respiratory virus season ramps up, further challenges should be expected for healthcare systems, workplaces, and schools as a result of COVID-19 combined with flu and RSV.

“Data from the southern hemisphere and early indicators from the U.S. suggest that we should anticipate a respiratory virus season more similar to pre-pandemic timing, but with a simultaneous rise in RSV and flu, in addition to the lingering threat of COVID-19,” said Dr. Andrea Thomas, Head of Epidemiology at BlueDot. “Businesses – particularly those that operate within high-risk settings such as schools and healthcare centers – should put in place interventions including ventilation, use of face masks, and encouraging vaccinations. We also have new medical countermeasures to protect the most vulnerable from severe outcomes of RSV, including vaccinations for seniors and one to be taken during pregnancy to protect infants, and an antibody treatment for infants.”

“With flu and RSV expected to hit the U.S. at a similar time, businesses should deploy effective germ reduction strategies to help address the spread through both surfaces and air,” said Dr. Julie McKinney, Director of Research and Development at Reckitt’s Lysol Pro Solutions. “The season has historically shaved off productivity from businesses due to worker and school absenteeism. Early indicators suggest that this year is likely to mirror pre-pandemic trends compared to last year, which was highly unpredictable. Facility managers can be prepared and put in place protective measures to help combat the impact of the season. Holistic hand and surface hygiene, including the use of EPA-approved products such as Lysol Disinfectant Spray or Lysol Disinfecting Wipes, as well as a focus on effective cleaning measures on germ-harboring hot spots can help reduce the spread of germs, and support a more productive workforce.”

For more information about Lysol Pro Solutions or BlueDot, and for inquiries on how we can help your business, please contact:

Lysol Pro Solutions press team 
E: [email protected]
T: +1 917-412-6009

BlueDot press team
E: [email protected]
T: +1 416-320-6854

ABOUT LYSOL® PRO SOLUTIONS

Reckitt’s Lysol Pro Solutions harnesses the power of Lysol to help protect businesses and public spaces from the spread of germs. In today’s world, consumers have increased hygiene expectations which makes germ-protection more critical than ever. The comprehensive approach from Lysol Pro Solutions incorporates science-backed protocols and training, EPA-approved Lysol products and Lysol-branded marketing materials and signage. Lysol Pro Solutions empowers businesses to demonstrate to their staff and customers a commitment to providing a trusted standard for protection.

ABOUT RECKITT

Reckitt* exists to protect, heal and nurture in the relentless pursuit of a cleaner, healthier world. We believe that access to the highest-quality hygiene, wellness and nourishment is a right, not a privilege.

Reckitt is the company behind some of the world’s most recognizable and trusted consumer brands in hygiene, health and nutrition, including Air Wick, Calgon, Cillit Bang, Clearasil, Dettol, Durex, Enfamil, Finish, Gaviscon, Harpic, Lysol, Mortein, Mucinex, Nurofen, Nutramigen, Strepsils, Vanish, Veet, Woolite and more.

Every day, more than 30 million Reckitt products are bought globally. We always put consumers and people first, seek out new opportunities, strive for excellence in all that we do and build shared success with all our partners. We aim to do the right thing, always.

We are a diverse global team of c. 40,000 colleagues. We draw on our collective energy to meet our ambitions of purpose-led brands, a healthier planet and a fairer society. Find out more or get in touch with us at 
www.reckitt.com/us.

*Reckitt is the trading name of the Reckitt Benckiser group of companies

ABOUT BLUEDOT

BlueDot’s intelligence platform empowers public and private sector organizations to rapidly identify, understand, and effectively respond to global infectious disease threats. Combining human and artificial intelligence to track the activity of hundreds of infectious diseases and syndromes worldwide, it applies academic data science and deep subject matter expertise to anticipate global spread and impact. BlueDot ensures clients immediately know when important infectious disease threats emerge anywhere in the world, helps them focus on those that matter most to their organization, and empowers them to act swiftly and confidently when needed. Founded in 2013 and used by the City of Chicago, Taiwan CDC, Air Canada, and more, BlueDot helps clients make critical decisions with clarity and confidence. Learn more at www.bluedot.global.

1Research designed for Reckitt’s Lysol Pro Solutions by BlueDot Inc.
2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Respiratory Virus Response. (2023). 2023 Respiratory Virus Response – NSSP Emergency Department Visits – COVID-19, Flu, RSV, Combined (September 6, 2023 Version).

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