Respiratory virus infections in hospitalized and non-hospitalized children: determinants of severe course of the disease
Keywords:Children, comorbidities, hospitalization, non-hospitalization, respiratory viral disease severity
Introduction: Viral respiratory disease constitutes a great burden worldwide mainly among children. Objective: One pursued to compare disease characteristics of children who required hospitalization from those who did not require hospitalization due to a viral respiratory disease.
Methodology: Medical and demographic data were collected through questionnaires and nasopharyngeal aspirates were tested for detection of respiratory disease viruses of in and outpatients up to five years old, presenting acute respiratory infection.
Results: Respiratory syncytial virus predominated among hospitalized children while other viruses (Human rhinovirus, Influenza virus, Parainfluenza virus, Adenovirus, and Human metapneumovirus) together predominated among non-hospitalized patients. Although children with underlying risk condition required longer hospitalization, previously healthy children presented severe disease and required hospitalization as well. Also, clinical characteristics were not found that may distinguish RSV infected children who had comorbidities from those previously healthy.
Conclusions: Children who were hospitalized due to respiratory distress had well defined characteristics: early age, respiratory syncytial virus infection, bronchiolitis and presence of comorbidity. Nevertheless, rapid respiratory syncytial virus identification among early age children may be of great value in order to avoid medical misconduct, such as unnecessary antibiotic prescription and preventive health care before an eventual clinical worsening encompassing previous health status.
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