The most significant drop in the number of other flu cases occurred among children. With all schools in the country closed, they became more isolated. In addition, unlike other respiratory diseases, they are not Covid-19’s preferred target. The most vulnerable are adults and the elderly.
A new study by the DOr Institute for Research and Education (Idor) revealed that hospital admissions for common respiratory infections in pediatric ICUs fell by 80% in 2020 compared to the previous three years.
“Pediatric ICUs were very empty,” says pediatrician José Colleti Jr., ICU coordinator at Hospital Assunção, in São Bernardo do Campo, who participated in the study. “Many closed because they had no patients and ended up being transformed into ICUs in Covid.”
The study was carried out in partnership with the Brazilian Pediatric Intensive Care Research Network in 15 DOr hospitals in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Recife and the Federal District. The confirmation of the first cases of Covid in late February and early March, coinciding with the start of the seasonal season of diseases caused by respiratory viruses, alarmed doctors, especially pediatricians, because children are usually more vulnerable to respiratory pathogens. .
“It is not that the viruses ceased to exist, but they did not circulate as intensely”, says pediatrician Patrícia Barreto, president of the Department of Diseases of the Respiratory System of the Society of Pediatrics of the State of Rio de Janeiro. According to her, an important lesson to be kept with the return to school: children with any symptoms of respiratory disease should not be sent to school.
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