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Bronchiolitis in COVID-19 times: a nearly absent disease?

Authors
  • Van Brusselen, Daan1, 1, 2
  • De Troeyer, Katrien3
  • ter Haar, Eva4
  • Vander Auwera, Ann1
  • Poschet, Katleen1
  • Van Nuijs, Sascha1
  • Bael, An5, 6
  • Stobbelaar, Kim7, 8
  • Verhulst, Stijn7, 8
  • Van Herendael, Bruno1, 1
  • Willems, Philippe1, 1
  • Vermeulen, Melissa9
  • De Man, Jeroen8
  • Bossuyt, Nathalie9
  • Vanden Driessche, Koen7, 10
  • 1 GZA Hospitals,
  • 2 Ghent University,
  • 3 University of Leuven,
  • 4 ZNA Jan Palfijn Hospital,
  • 5 ZNA Queen Paola Children’s Hospital,
  • 6 Antwerp University,
  • 7 University Hospital Antwerp,
  • 8 University of Antwerp,
  • 9 Sciensano,
  • 10 Section Paediatric Infectious Diseases, Laboratory of Medical Immunology, Radboud Centre for Infectious Diseases, Radboud Institute for Life Sciences, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Type
Published Article
Journal
European Journal of Pediatrics
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Jan 30, 2021
Pages
1–5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00431-021-03968-6
PMID: 33517482
PMCID: PMC7847293
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Short Communication
License
Unknown

Abstract

Stay-at-home orders, physical distancing, face masks and other non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) do not only impact COVID-19, but also the dynamics of various other infectious diseases. Bronchiolitis is a clinically diagnosed viral infection of the lower respiratory tract, and causes a yearly seasonal wave of admissions in paediatric wards worldwide. We counted 92,5% less bronchiolitis hospitalisations in Antwerp before the expected end of the peak this year (of which only 1 RSV positive), as compared to the last 3 years. Furthermore, there was a >99% reduction in the number of registered RSV cases in Belgium. Conslusion: The 2020 winter bronchiolitis peak is hitherto nonexistent, but we fear a ‘delayed’ spring/summer bronchiolitis peak when most NPIs will be relaxed and pre-pandemic life restarts. What is known? • Bronchiolitis causes a yearly seasonal wave of admissions in paediatric departments worldwide. • Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) do not only impact COVID-19, but also the dynamics of various other infectious diseases. What is new? • The 2020 winter bronchiolitis peak is hitherto nonexistent. • A ‘delayed’ spring or summer bronchiolitis peak could happen when most NPIs will be relaxed and pre-pandemic life restarts.

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