NBA's Magic Raises RSV Awareness
Former NBA superstar Earvin "Magic" Johnson recently agreed to assist in launching Sideline RSV, a new health education campaign aimed to help older adults and their loved ones better understand the risks and potential seriousness of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infection.
The new campaign will help bring the RSV conversation to center court as older adults are more likely to have severe outcomes from RSV because the immune system typically weakens as people age.
At 63 years of age, Johnson is an older adult who will spark essential conversations to better educate people about RSV risks. In retirement, he became a passionate public health advocate for diseases like HIV/Aids.
"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 in a press release on March 14, 2023.
"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."
In addition to GSK plc's Sideline RSV, Johnson will appear in various 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," added 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 essential to know your risk factors for RSV and speak with a healthcare provider if you develop cold-like symptoms."
Adults with certain underlying conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, or chronic heart failure, are at an increased risk of developing serious respiratory issues.
RSV can exacerbate these conditions, leading to severe outcomes such as pneumonia, hospitalization, and death.
Several RSV vaccine candidates and monoclonal antibody therapies are being clinically reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as of March 20, 2023.
Note: This news article is not paid content; the author is a Boston Celtics fan.