HealthDay News Substantial and sustained reductions in hospital admissions were seen among children after March 1, 2020, according to a study published online Jan. 12 in The BMJ.

Seilesh Kadambari, M.B.B.S., from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on hospital admission rates and mortality outcomes in a population-based observational study of 19 common childhood respiratory, severe invasive, and vaccine-preventable infections. Hospital admission data for children aged 0 to 14 years were included for every National Health Service hospital in England from March 1, 2017, to June 30, 2021.

The researchers found that for all but 1 of the infective conditions studied, there were substantial and sustained reductions in hospital admissions after March 1, 2020. The greatest percentage of reductions among respiratory infections were for influenza (94% reduction) and bronchiolitis (82% reduction). The greatest reduction among severe invasive infections was seen for meningitis (50% reduction). Reductions for vaccine-preventable infections ranged from 53 to 90% for mumps and measles, respectively. The reductions were observed across all demographic subgroups and for those with underlying conditions. There were corresponding decreases seen in the absolute numbers of 60-day case fatalities, although there was an increase in the proportion of children admitted for pneumonia who died within 60 days (age-sex adjusted odds ratio, 1.71).


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“Kadambari and colleagues’ study and others show that societies have greater control over the incidence of a wide range of infectious diseases than previously appreciated,” write the authors of an accompanying editorial.

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Editorial