Unforeseen changes in seasonality of pediatric respiratory illnesses during the first COVID-19 pandemic year

Moria Be'er, Israel Amirav, Michal Cahal, Mika Rochman, Yotam Lior, Ayelet Rimon, Roni G. Lavy, Moran Lavie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: To investigate whether the three nationwide coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdowns imposed in Israel during the full first pandemic year altered the traditional seasonality of pediatric respiratory healthcare utilization. Methods: Month by month pediatric emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations for respiratory diagnoses during the first full COVID-19 year were compared to those recorded for the six consecutive years preceding the pandemic. Data were collected from the patients' electronic files by utilizing a data extraction platform (MDClone©). Results: A significant decline of 40% in respiratory ED visits and 54%–73% in respiratory hospitalizations during the first COVID-19 year compared with the pre-COVID-19 years were observed (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively). The rate of respiratory ED visits out of the total monthly visits, mostly for asthma, peaked during June 2020, compared with proceeding years (109 [5.9%] versus 88 [3.9%] visits; p < 0.001). This peak occurred 2 weeks after the lifting of the first lockdown, resembling the “back-to-school asthma” phenomenon of September. Conclusions: This study demonstrates important changes in the seasonality of pediatric respiratory illnesses during the first COVID-19 year, including a new “back-from-lockdown” asthma peak. These dramatic changes along with the recent resurgence of respiratory diseases may indicate the beginnings of altered seasonality in pediatric pulmonary pathologies as collateral damage of the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1425-1431
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Volume57
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • asthma
  • bronchiolitis
  • children
  • healthcare utilization
  • lockdown
  • pneumonia
  • respiratory illness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Unforeseen changes in seasonality of pediatric respiratory illnesses during the first COVID-19 pandemic year'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this