Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health



First Committee Member

Kendra Ratnapradipa

Second Committee Member

Abraham Mengist

Third Committee Member

Robin Williams


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common respiratory virus affecting children and adults. The United States RSV peak season occurs regularly between October to May, but in April 2021, an unexpected United States interseason RSV epidemic ensued. RSV laboratory testing has changed in the United States due to increased use of nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) rather than antigen-based testing, affecting how RSV seasonal epidemics are determined. Nebraska linked RSV laboratory and death certificate data (2016-2021) were used to calculate crude, specific and adjusted RSV case and mortality rates by age, sex, race, and ethnicity. A Cochran – Armitage test for trend examined changes in RSV testing type across the surveillance period to determine Nebraska RSV test type changes compared to the United States. Very low RSV mortality across the surveillance period and high cases rates in 2020 and 2021. This is the first multiyear report of Nebraska RSV descriptive epidemiological trends during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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