03.03.2023 | Tracker

Respiratory tracker: eHCPs are hopeful about declining flu and RSV numbers

By Mark Sullivan

Each month, CREATION.co’s respiratory tracking update brings you the latest insights into the online UK healthcare professional (eHCP) conversation regarding respiratory disease. 

Between 21 January and 20 February 2023, CREATION Pinpoint® identified 2,230 UK eHCP posts discussing respiratory diseases. These were authored by 1,187 UK eHCPs. The online activity of UK eHCPs discussing respiratory diseases this month decreased from 2,799 posts last month, which was a drop of 20%. The conversation only exceeded the previous average daily level of conversation on 17 February, when 19 eHCPs responded to a call for COPD patients to participate in a survey from Edinburgh Napier University. 

The most active eHCP this month was Stephen Griffin, a virologist who posted 28 times about respiratory disease. He often engaged with the public who had questions about the immune response to COVID-19. These included the long-term impact of avoiding respiratory infection, and the needs of immunocompromised patients.

As we move out of winter in the northern hemisphere, eHCPs are starting to note the ‘good news’ that ‘flu and RSV are on the wane’. One paediatrician commented that levels of flu, RSV and other respiratory diseases have reached pre-COVID-19 levels and suggests that ‘the lockdown affect may be behind us.’ A post that was shared by 10 eHCPs in the UK highlighted to the public that because RSV and flu numbers are declining, if people have cold or flu symptoms at the moment, it is likely to be COVID-19. 

Within the RSV conversation, eHCPs showed a particular interest in the HARMONIE trial, a ‘fantastic study’ that is testing the efficacy of a single antibody dose of an RSV vaccine for babies. 20% of RSV posts mentioned this trial. eHCPs encouraged parents to enrol their babies in the trial and shared that they had done the same, expressing gratitude that their baby had been vaccinated. 

The most discussed respiratory disease this month was asthma (followed by COVID-19 and COPD), which was mentioned in 29% of posts. Several asthma-related posts touched on environmental issues. 13 eHCPs supported the expansion of the ultra-low emission zone in London, often sharing an article from the Evening Standard that highlighted the impact of pollution in London on asthma in children. They picked up on the Mayor of London’s claim that the expansion will reduce pollution related deaths by 4,000 a year. Two eHCPs shared member of parliament Geraint Davies’ post criticising the Environment Secretary for delaying implementation of World Health Organization air quality standards, which he said would result in thousands more deaths and ‘millions more asthma attacks.’

Other eHCPs used Twitter to educate their peers about asthma medication. They shared guidelines, journal articles and the occasional “hack” for administration of medication. The most shared post by (33) other UK eHCPs in the respiratory disease conversation was Sam Goodhand’s post that shared his hack for using a syringe and an inhaler to administer salbutamol. 

Each month, we track the eHCP conversation relating to respiratory disease.


You can keep up to date with this and other pharmaceutical tracking updates, including COVID-19 developments, within the Tracking section of CREATION Knowledge, or sign up to receive our monthly eJournal with all of our latest HCP insights. 


If you would like to dig deeper into what we have seen this month then please do get in touch.



  • This article analysed the Twitter conversations of HCPs in the UK discussing respiratory disease and related terms between 21 January and 20 February 2023 using CREATION Pinpoint®.
  • Between 21 January and 20 February 2023, there were 2,230 UK eHCP mentions of respiratory disease and related terms, from 1,187 unique UK eHCP authors. 

The UK Respiratory tracker archive

Jan 2023: eHCPs focus on paediatric cases

Dec 2022: HCPs advocate for Advanced Practitioners and COVID readiness

Nov 2022: HCPs discuss “Your Lungs for Life” campaign, ways to reduce the burden of COPD and highlight the serious effects of damp homes.

Oct 2022: HCPs discuss inhaler technique during #askaboutasthma and react to patients’ response to cost of living crisis

Sept 2022: Climate crisis = Health crisis, HCPs share their opinions at ERS 2022

Aug 2022: HCPs discuss the carbon impact of inhalers and thunderstorm asthma

July 2022: HCPs look forward to the COVID-19 booster and flu jab

June 2022: HCPs discuss Clean Air Day and react to Chris Whitty’s concern for young smokers

May 2022: Can you put a price on asthma care? UK HCPs discuss all on World Asthma Day

April 2022: UK HCPs stress COVID-19 is not finished yet

March 2022: UK HCPs welcome new Asthma and Lung UK charity and highlight unmet needs

February 2022: UK HCPs shared findings of the relationship between deprivation and asthma admissions

January 2022: HCPs shared how to prevent and control seasonal respiratory infections

December 2021: UK HCPs engaged in the British Thoracic Society’s 2021 Winter meeting

November 2021: Healthy lungs have never been more important to UK HCPs

October 2021: UK HCPs agree with 3 key messages of NHS campaign #AskAboutAsthma

September 2021: UK HCPs voice concern as cigarette company takes more control of UK inhaler market

August 2021: UK HCPs Debate The Comparisons Drawn Between COVID-19 And Other Viruses

July 2021: UK HCPS debate the impact of “Freedom Day

June 2021: UK HCPs rally behind their peers and others warn of ‘Thunderstorm Asthma’

May 2021: UK HCPs discuss inhaler technique on world asthma day

April 2021: UK HCPs celebrate positive trial for asthma drug used in COVID-19 patients

March 2021: UK HCPs share scientific research in COPD and encourage peer participation in surveys

February 2021: UK HCPs call for roll out of Respiratory Support Units at virtual BTS Winter Meeting

January 2021: UK HCPs use blue heart 💙 to show support for frontline respiratory healthcare workers

December 2020: UK HCPs engage with new COVID-19 respiratory support guidance from BTS and ICS

November 2020: UK HCPs celebrated new COPD patient charter on World COPD Day

October 2020: Virtual medical conferences drive online conversation in respiratory disease

September 2020: Respiratory conversation increased throughout month as HCPs #AskAboutAsthma

August 2020: In the absence of external developments, UK HCP interest in COVID-19 depletes

July 2020: UK doctors dismiss claims that masks limit oxygen intake for respiratory patients

June 2020: UK HCPs praise NHS trial enrolment that led to Dexamethasone approval for COVID-19

May 2020: UK HCPs celebrate NHS staff and give advice to patients on World Asthma Day

April 2020: UK HCPs protect peers and patients by responding to misinformation

March 2020: UK HCPs continue to educate on the coronavirus

February 2020: HCPs consistently engaged with Asthma UK throughout Jan 2020

January 2020: UK HCPs discuss #WORLDCOPDDAY and #BTSWINTER2019

December 2019: UK HCPs slam BBC news article on asthma carbon footprint

November 2019: HCPS encourage patients to #AskAboutAsthma

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Meet the Author

Mark Sullivan

Mark uses his passion for data analysis to study the online conversations of HCPs and find actionable insights which are presented to teams in the pharmaceutical industry so they can make informed decisions.

Mark is an avid sports fan whether watching or playing. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends – but not as much when they tell him he needs a haircut.

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