Clinical Impact of Serious Respiratory Disease in Children Under the Age of 2 Years During the 2021–2022 Bronchiolitis Season in England, Scotland, and Ireland

Thomas c Williams, Robin Marlow, Pia Hardelid, Mark d Lyttle, Kate m Lewis, Chengetai d Mpamhanga, Steve Cunningham, Damian Roland, Karena Fraser, James Baker, Helen Bailie, Meriel Tolhurst-Cleaver, Rob Stellman, Stuart Hartshorn, Jessica Watson, Roisin Begley, Sakura Hingley, Manali Dutta, Gemma Ramsden, Eleanor RyanSheena Durnin, Stanley Koe, Gergely Halasz, Steve Brearey, Darren Ranasinghe, Mudiyur Gopi, Claudia Spalding, Sylvester Gomes, Gracita Woods, Patrick Aldridge, Vicky Owens, Hemantha Balehithlu, Simon Richardson, David Hartin, Rachael Mitchell, Alice Downes, Damian Roland, Sabrina Sequeira, Jo Tillett, Simon Dowson, Jo Tomlinson, Adebayo Da costa, Alfred Sime, Claire Kirby, Adam Lawton, Ruth Wear, Christopher Gough, Sharryn Gardner, Zena Haslam, Craig Rimmer, Jiske Steensma, Sahana Rao, Heather Deall, Sharon Hall, Catriona Middleton, Emily Walton, Friyana dastur Mackenzie, Manish Thakker, Gisela Robinson, Graham Johnson, Shye Wong, Cynthia Diaba, Steve Foster, Jen Browning, Lynsey Rooney, Kirsty Challen, Michael Rosser, Pratiksha Patel, Amy Spicer, Lorna Bagshaw, Seb Gray, Sally Gibbs, Niall Mullen, Louise Fairley, Jane Bayreuther, David James, Heather Jarman, Clare O'leary, Linda Clerihew, Raine Astin-Chamberlain, Sarah Trippick, Lawrence Armstrong, Joanne Mulligan, Sophie Keers, Benjamin Cahill, Misbah Mohammad, Richard Burridge, Sarah Wilson, Amutha Anpananthar, Erum Jamall, David Lacy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Interventions introduced to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 led to a widespread reduction in childhood infections. However, from spring 2021 onwards the United Kingdom and Ireland experienced an unusual out-of-season epidemic of respiratory disease.
We conducted a prospective observational study (BronchStart), enrolling children 0-23 months of age presenting with bronchiolitis, lower respiratory tract infection or first episode of wheeze to 59 Emergency Departments across England, Scotland and Ireland from May 2021 to April 2022. We combined testing data with national admissions datasets to infer the impact of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) disease.
The BronchStart study collected data on 17,899 presentations for 17,164 children. Risk factors for admission and escalation of care included prematurity and congenital heart disease, but most admissions were for previously healthy term-born children. Of those aged 0-11 months who were admitted and tested for RSV, 1,907/3,912 (48.7%) tested positive. We estimate that every year in England and Scotland 28,561 (95% confidence interval 27,637-29,486) infants are admitted with RSV infection.
RSV infection was the main cause of hospitalisations in this cohort, but 51.3% of admissions in infants were not associated with the virus. The majority of admissions were in previously healthy term-born infants.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of Infectious Diseases
Early online date2 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Dec 2023


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