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Acute infection as cause of hospitalization of asylum-seeking children and adolescents in Stockholm, Sweden 2015-2016.

Authors
  • Hertting, Olof1, 2
  • Luthander, Joachim3, 4
  • Giske, Christian G5, 6
  • Bennet, Rutger3
  • Eriksson, Margareta3
  • 1 Pediatric Infectious Diseases Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. [email protected] , (Sweden)
  • 2 Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. [email protected] , (Sweden)
  • 3 Pediatric Infectious Diseases Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. , (Sweden)
  • 4 Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. , (Sweden)
  • 5 Department of Clinical Microbiology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. , (Sweden)
  • 6 Division of Clinical microbiology, Department of Laboratory medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. , (Sweden)
Type
Published Article
Journal
European Journal of Pediatrics
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2021
Volume
180
Issue
3
Pages
893–898
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00431-020-03795-1
PMID: 32974759
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

We aimed to identify hospitalizations due to infectious diseases among asylum seekers and compare them to those of the resident population 1.6.2015-31.10.2016. Administrative numbers assigned to hospitalized non-resident children made them identifiable in the discharge register. The examined populations, expressed as person-years, were 334,573 residents and 7565 asylum seekers. There were 2500 episodes of infectious disease in 2240 resident children and 139 episodes in 121 asylum seekers. Among prevalent infections contracted before or during migration, there were 33 cases of tuberculosis, four of malaria, and one of louse-borne relapsing fever, all of which occurred in 13-17-year-old unaccompanied minors. Among younger asylum seekers, there were no significant differences in the spectrum of infectious discharge diagnoses compared to residents, but across all incident infections, 0-6-year-old asylum seekers had 3.2-fold and 7-12-year-old a 4.7-fold greater risk of being admitted. Screening for multidrug-resistant bacteria showed that 45/160 (28%) of the asylum seekers were colonized, but clinical infections caused by these species were rare.Conclusion: There was a high rate of hospitalizations for acute infectious diseases in asylum-seeking children, but the spectrum and severity of infections were similar to that in resident children. What is known: • Mental and physical health problems are common in immigrant children and adolescents. What is new: • Hospitalizations due to acute infections in asylum-seeking children and adolescents are common. In the context of this study, the severity and spectrum of infectious diseases seemed to be the same in the two groups; the increased hospitalization rate in asylum seekers may be due to social factors and perceived need for more support.

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