Publication date: Sep 20, 2023
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading cause of lower respiratory tract infection among infants and young children, resulting in annual epidemics worldwide. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, non-pharmacological interventions were applied, interfering with the circulation of most respiratory viruses, including RSV. The aim of this study is to analyze the RSV infection trend among hospitalized infants during the actual epidemic season (2022-2023) in comparison with the last pre-pandemic season (2018-2019), in order to outline whether significant differences emerge due to COVID-19 pandemia. We retrospectively reviewed medical data on infants hospitalized at the Bambino GescF9 Children’s Hospital with diagnosis of bronchiolitis in the current epidemic season and in the last pre-pandemic season, 2018-2019. RSV remains the main etiological agent of bronchiolitis in terms of frequency and severity of infections in the ongoing epidemic season. The first RSV case of the 2022-2023 season was detected at week 42 vs week 47 in the 2018-2019 season. The length of epidemic season was of 17 weeks in 2022-2023 vs 18 weeks in 2018-2019. Comparing the two seasons, age at admission was significantly higher in the current season (median age 2022-2023 65 days vs median age 2018-2019 58 days), but the disease severity was similar. Conclusions: The 2022-2023 bronchiolitis season in Italy started earlier than the usual pre-pandemic seasons but seasonality pattern may be going back to the pre-pandemic one. This season was not more severe than the previous ones. The impact of RSV disease on health care systems and costs remains a critical issue. What is Known: • RSV is one of the major leading causes of hospitalization among children aged less than 3 months. SarsCOV2 pandemic interfered with the seasonal circulation of most respiratory viruses, Including RSV. What is New: • The 2022-2023 bronchiolitis season in Italy started and peaked earlier than the usual pre-pandemic seasons but seasonality pattern may be realigning to the pre-pandemic one. The impact of RSV disease on health care systems and costs is concerning.
|disease||VO||Respiratory syncytial virus|