COVID-19 public health measures reduce the incidence of respiratory infectious diseases

  • Zhenzhou Wan Taizhou Fourth People’s Hospital, Taizhou, China
  • Yulin Wang Jiangsu Agri-Animal Husbandry Vocational College, Taizhou, China
  • Jiao Liang Shaanxi Provincial People’s Hospital, Xi’an, China
  • Yueqin Cao Taizhou Fourth People’s Hospital, Taizhou, China
  • Renfei Lu Clinical Laboratory, Nantong Third Hospital Affiliated to Nantong University, Nantong, China
  • Chiyu Zhang Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19, respiratory tract infections, children, the elderly, intervention measures, gender


Background: Children and the elderly are two special subpopulations for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and respiratory tract infections (RTIs). The study aimed to evaluate the effect of COVID-19 public health measures on the burden of RTIs in China by performing a two-center investigation.

Methods: The electronic medical records of all inpatients in departments of pediatrics and respiratory medicine of Taizhou Fourth People’s Hospital (Taizhou, China) and Shaanxi Provincial People’s Hospital (Xi’an, China) during January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021 were analyzed. A total of 18,084 child inpatients and 14,802 adult inpatients were included.

Results: The vast majority (88.3%-90.6%) of the adult inpatients were the elderly, aged over 50 years. The numbers of child and adult (elderly) inpatients, and the proportions of RTI-associated diseases substantially decreased during COVID-19 pandemic (2020-2021) compared to that before the pandemic (2019) in Taizhou and Xi’an. A significantly higher proportion of LRTI-associated diseases was observed in elderly female inpatients (53.4-55.6%) than elderly male inpatients (34.3-41.5%) (p < 0.001) in spite of more male inpatients than female inpatients (1.94-1.95:1).

Conclusions: COVID-19-related interventions provide an additional beneficial effect on reduction of RTI-associated diseases in both children and the elderly.

How to Cite
Wan Z, Wang Y, Liang J, Cao Y, Lu R, Zhang C (2022) COVID-19 public health measures reduce the incidence of respiratory infectious diseases. J Infect Dev Ctries 16:600-603. doi: 10.3855/jidc.15898
Coronavirus Pandemic