COVID-19 mitigation strategies were associated with decreases in other respiratory virus infections

March 20, 2021

Sinha Pranay, Katherine Reifler, Michael Rossi, Manish Sagar

Oxford Open Forum Infectious Diseases

Pranay et al. conducted a retrospective cohort analysis to investigate the impact of COVID-19 mitigation strategies to decrease the spread on other respiratory viral infections over the course of five years. Data was collected from the Boston Medical Center between January 1, 2015 to November 25, 2020 for documented respiratory virus infections from comprehensive respiratory panel polymerase chain- reaction test (CRP-PCR, BioFire Diagnostics). The aim of the CRP-PCR tests was to detect the incidence of respiratory viruses prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a chi-square test, patient age and level of medical care associated with a detected respiratory virus were compared. A multivariable binary logistic regression analysis was conducted with age and level of care as the independent variables, and the CRP-PCR tests as the dependent variable. The results indicated that the detection of diverse respiratory viruses in Boston was 80% lower than the previous 5 years in 2020. In conclusion, the authors of the study suggest that COVID-19 mitigation strategies played an impactful part in reducing the spread of other diverse respiratory viruses. However, despite this increase, there is a need to continue implementing these mitigation strategies for at-risk populations, such as the elderly or immunocompromised, to ensure that the spread of respiratory viral infections does not increase.

Pranay S, Reifler K, Rossi M, Sagar M, COVID-19 mitigation strategies were associated with decreases in other respiratory virus infections, Open Forum Infectious Diseases, 2021;, ofab105, https://doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofab105

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