Bronchiolitis, epidemiological changes during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

Hospital Network for R. S. V. surveillance in Catalonia

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Background: Bronchiolitis is the most common viral infection of the lower respiratory tract in infants under 2 years of age. The aim of this study was to analyze and compare the seasonal bronchiolitis peaks before and during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Methods: Descriptive, prospective, and observational study. Patients with severe bronchiolitis admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) of a referral tertiary hospital between September 2010 and June 2021 were included. Demographic data were collected. Viral laboratory-confirmation was carried out. Each season was analyzed and compared. The daily average temperature was collected. Results: 1116 patients were recruited, 58.2% of them males. The median age was 49 days. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was isolated in 782 cases (70.1%). In April 2021, the first and only case of bronchiolitis caused by SARS-CoV-2 was identified. The pre- and post-pandemic periods were compared. There were statistically significant differences regarding: age, 47 vs. 73 days (p = 0.006), PICU and hospital length of stay (p = 0.024 and p = 0.001, respectively), and etiology (p = 0.031). The peak for bronchiolitis in 2020 was non-existent before week 52. A delayed peak was seen around week 26/2021. The mean temperature during the epidemic peak was 10ºC for the years of the last decade and is 23ºC for the present season. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has led to a clearly observable epidemiological change regarding acute bronchiolitis, which should be studied in detail. The influence of the environmental temperature does not seem to determine the viral circulation.

Idioma originalAnglès
Número d’article84
RevistaBMC Infectious Diseases
Volum22
Número1
DOIs
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - de des. 2022
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