Effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the pediatric infectious disease landscape

Moshe Shmueli, Idan Lendner, Shalom Ben-Shimol

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    3 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    This narrative review aims to present an overview of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on the landscape of pediatric infectious diseases. While COVID-19 generally results in mild symptoms and a favorable prognosis in children, the pandemic brought forth significant consequences. These included persistent symptoms among infected children (“long COVID”), a profound transformation in healthcare utilization (notably through the widespread adoption of telemedicine), and the implementation of optimization strategies within healthcare settings. Furthermore, the pandemic resulted in alterations in the circulation patterns of respiratory pathogens, including influenza, RSV, and Streptococcus pneumoniae. The possible reasons for those changes are discussed in this review. COVID-19 effect was not limited to respiratory infectious diseases, as other diseases, including urinary tract and gastrointestinal infections, have displayed decreased transmission rates, likely attributable to heightened hygiene measures and shifts in care-seeking behaviors. Finally, the disruption of routine childhood vaccination programs has resulted in reduced immunization coverage and an upsurge in vaccine hesitancy. In addition, the pandemic was associated with issues of antibiotic misuse and over-prescription. Conclusion: In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has left a profound and multifaceted impact on the landscape of pediatric infectious diseases, ranging from the emergence of “long COVID” in children to significant changes in healthcare delivery, altered circulation patterns of various pathogens, and concerning disruptions in vaccination programs and antibiotic usage. (Table presented.) Graphical Abstract: (Figure presented.)

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1001-1009
    Number of pages9
    JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
    Volume183
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1 Mar 2024

    Keywords

    • Antibiotic stewardship
    • COVID-19
    • Healthcare services
    • Pediatric infectious diseases
    • SARS‑CoV‑2
    • Vaccines

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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