Has COVID-19 Changed Pediatric Acute Rhinosinusitis Epidemiology During the First 2 Pandemic Years?

Itai Hazan, Oren Ziv, Tal Marom, Elchanan Zloczower, Jacob Pitaro, Meir Warman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To study national pediatric acute rhinosinusitis (ARS) burden fluctuations before and during the first 2 coronavirus-19 (COVID) years, characterized by alternating lockdown and relaxation periods, the introduction of COVID vaccines, and the emergence of nonalpha COVID variants. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional, population-based study covering the 3 pre-COVID years and the first 2 COVID years from a big database of the largest Israeli Health Maintenance Organization. For comparison purposes, we explored ARS burden trends with those of urinary tract infection (UTI), which is unrelated to viral diseases. We identified children <15 years presenting with ARS and UTI episodes and categorized them according to their age and presentation date. The average ARS and UTI episodes of the 3 pre-COVID years were used to calculate the incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of the 2 COVID years, analyzed separately. Seasonal variations were explored. RESULTS: We identified 44,483 ARS and 121,263 UTI episodes. There was a substantial reduction in ARS episodes during the COVID years (IRR 0.36, 95% CI: 0.24-0.56, P < 0.001). Although UTI episode rates also decreased during COVID (IRR 0.79, 95% CI: 0.72-0.86, P < 0.001), the reduction in ARS burden was 3-fold higher. The dominant pediatric ARS age group was between 5 and 15 years. The largest decrease in ARS burden was during the first COVID year. ARS episode distribution showed a seasonal fluctuation, with a peak during the summer months during the COVID years. CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric ARS burden decreased during the first 2 COVID years. Episode distribution was noted to be year-round.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-417
Number of pages6
JournalThe Pediatric infectious disease journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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