Respiratory viruses in hospitalized children with acute respiratory infections at 2019-2020 autumn-winter season: A single-center experience before COVID-19 pandemic
Ayca Komurluoglu Tan, Mursit Hasbek
The aim of this study is to determine the causative respiratory viruses (RVs) in hospitalized children due to acute respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in the 2019-2020 fall-winter season, before the COVID-19 pandemic, examine the clinical and laboratory findings, discuss the prevention strategies during the ongoing pandemic process, and contribute to the literature by providing data just before the pandemic. Aged between one month-18 years of patients who were admitted to Sivas Cumhuriyet University Hospital and hospitalized due to acute RTIs between September 1, 2019, and March 1, 2020, and had a RVs multiplex PCR panel were analyzed retrospectively. 139 patients were evaluated. At least one viral pathogen was detected in 105 (75.5%) patients. 5 patients (3.59%) had co-infection. The most common viruses detected were Influenza A (H1N1) (21.8%), Influenza B (20.9%), Rhinovirus (RV) (18%) and, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) (17.3%). RSV was the most common viral agent under the age of 1. 52 patients (37.4%) were followed up in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), and the most common viral pathogens isolated in PICU were RSV (17.3%), RV (17.3%) and Bocavirus (HBoV)(9.6%). RV and HBoV patients needed high levels of oxygen and respiratory support. Unnecessary antibiotic use and morbidity can be reduced by detecting the viral agent in the early period with the PCR method. RSV prophylaxis and influenza vaccination should be continued uninterruptedly for children at risk groups during the COVID-19 pandemic process.
Key words: Acute respiratory infection, real-time PCR, respiratory viruses, RSV, influenza, children, COVID-19