GSK and Earvin “Magic” Johnson Partner to Raise Awareness of Risk of RSV in Older Adults
- GSK launches national health education campaign, Sideline RSV, to highlight risk of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).
- Adults at highest risk for severe RSV infection include older adults and adults with chronic heart and lung disease.
GSK plc (LSE/NYSE: GSK) has partnered with Earvin “Magic” Johnson to launch Sideline RSV, a new health education campaign aimed to help older adults and their loved ones better understand the risks and potential seriousness of RSV infection and how to help protect themselves.
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RSV is a common, contagious, and potentially serious respiratory virus.1,2 It is typically mild and can affect anyone, but adults at highest risk for severe RSV infection include older adults, and adults with chronic heart and lung disease.3 Each year approximately 177,000 adults 65 and older are hospitalized in the US due to RSV and an estimated 14,000 of those cases result in death.4 For adults 60 and older, some data suggest that there is an increased risk for severe RSV infection that can lead to hospitalization.5,6
Johnson will help spark important conversations and help educate around the risks of RSV among older adults. He has spent more than 30 years as a passionate public health advocate and it is his personal mission to empower others to become more educated about their health.
“My health is a top priority, yet like so many others, I was unaware that older adults are one of the highest risk groups for severe RSV infection, no matter how healthy they feel,” said Johnson. “Throughout my life, I’ve learned the importance of staying up-to-date on potential health risks that come with aging. That’s why I’m teaming up with GSK to bring this critical RSV conversation to center court and inspire people to understand their risks to help Sideline RSV.”
The Sideline RSV campaign will include a website with a message from Johnson and information about RSV, social media content, and community-focused events. In addition to Sideline RSV, Johnson will appear in a variety of educational content to highlight the risks of RSV in older adults, including those with certain underlying conditions.
“Cases of RSV in children are widely known, encouraging conversations around the risk of RSV among older adults will help increase the understanding and awareness for this group,” said Leonard Friedland, MD, VP and Director of Scientific Affairs and Public Health, at GSK. “There is no vaccine or specific treatment available for RSV in older adults. If you’re an older adult, including those with certain underlying medical conditions, it’s especially important to know your risk factors for RSV and speak with a healthcare provider if you develop cold-like symptoms.”
Older adults are more likely to have severe outcomes from RSV because the immune system typically weakens as people age.3 Adults with certain underlying conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma or chronic heart failure (CHF) are at an increased risk of developing serious respiratory issues.3 RSV can exacerbate these conditions, which can lead to severe outcomes, such as pneumonia, hospitalization and death.2,7
Visit www.SidelineRSV.com to learn more about the campaign.
About Sideline RSV
Sideline RSV is a health education campaign to help older adults and their loved ones know the risks of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The campaign will help bring the RSV conversation among older adults center court to educate around the risk for severe complications from RSV. This national campaign will educate older adults and their loved ones on how to help protect against RSV by helping people understand their risks for RSV and encourage them to talk with their doctor and other healthcare professionals.
About respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in older adults
RSV is a common contagious virus affecting the lungs and breathing passages.1,2 It is one of the major remaining infectious diseases for which there is no vaccine or specific treatment available for adults. Typical symptoms of RSV include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, headache and tiredness.8 RSV can spread easily when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes and is likely to be transmitted by touching a contaminated surface before touching the eyes, nose or mouth.1 Things that can be done to help prevent the spread of RSV include hand washing, and avoiding close contact with others.3 RSV is typically contagious for 3-8 days.1 Some people, especially those with weakened immune systems, can be contagious for as long as 4 weeks.1 Each year approximately 177,000 adults 65 years and older are hospitalized in the US due to RSV and an estimated 14,000 of those cases result in death.4 For adults 60 and older, some data suggest that there is an increased risk for severe RSV infection that can lead to hospitalization.5,6 RSV can exacerbate certain conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and chronic heart failure and can lead to severe outcomes, such as pneumonia, hospitalization, and death.2,7
GSK is a global biopharma company with a purpose to unite science, technology, and talent to get ahead of disease together. Find out more at gsk.com/company.
Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements
GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2021, GSK’s Q2 Results for 2022 and any impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. RSV Transmission. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/about/transmission.html. Accessed March 2023.
- National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. Respiratory Syncytial Virus in Older Adults: A Hidden Annual Epidemic. 2016. Available at: https://www.nfid.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/rsv-report.pdf. Accessed March 2023.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). RSV in Older Adults and Adults with Chronic Medical Conditions. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/high-risk/older-adults.html. Accessed March 2023.
- Falsey AR, et al. N Engl J Med 2005; 352:1749-1759 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa043951. Accessed March 2023.
- Tseng HF, Sy LS, Ackerson B, et al. Severe morbidity and short- and mid- to long-term mortality in older adults hospitalized with respiratory syncytial virus infection. J Infect Dis. 2020;222(8):1298-1310. doi:10.1093/infdis/jiaa361. Accessed March 2023.
- Belongia EA, King JP, Kieke BA, et al. Clinical features, severity, and incidence of RSV illness during 12 consecutive seasons in a community cohort of adults ≥60 years old. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2018;5(12):ofy316. doi:10.1093/ofid/ofy316. Accessed March 2023.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For Healthcare Providers. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/clinical/index.html. Accessed March 2023.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms and Care. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/about/symptoms.html. Accessed March 2023.
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