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G-O039 - THE SARS-COV-2 PANDEMIC DISRUPTED THE ACUTE VIRAL GASTROENTERITIS SEASONALITY IN HOSPITALIZED CHILDREN UNDER FIVE YEARS OF AGE - A POPULATION-BASED STUDY IN SOUTHERN ISRAEL (ID 1426)
Objectives and Study
Enteric viruses are the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in young children. We aimed to describe the prevalence and seasonality of AGE viruses in symptomatic hospitalized children during 2018-2021.
A retrospective, population-based study. All children <5 years with a rectal swab for multiplex-PCR viruses were taken (norovirus, rotavirus, astrovirus, adenovirus 40,41, and saprovirus) between 1/1/2018-31/12/2021 were included. The detection of the same virus within two months was considered one AGE episode. The rotavirus vaccine was implemented in December 2010, and by 2013, ∼90% of infants in southern Israel received ≥2 doses. The first SARS-CoV-2 cases were detected in Israel in February 2020, resulting in a complete lockdown and several partial restrictions.
Overall, 4,744 rectal swabs were collected. 1,310 (28%) were positive for at least one enteric virus, and 263/1,310 (20%) had multiple detections, mainly norovirus, and rotavirus (27%). The most common virus was norovirus (33.4%), followed by rotavirus (30.3%), adenovirus (14.2%), sapovirus (12.3%), and astrovirus (9.8%) (Figure 1). Before the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, rotavirus had a winter seasonality, astrovirus had a fall seasonality, adenovirus had a spring seasonality, and sapovirus and norovirus were perennial. During the first year of the pandemic, a mark reduction in viral AGE was seen, followed by an unusual surge (March-July 2021) attributed to rotavirus and norovirus cases (Figure 2). The analysis shows the differences in demographic and clinical characteristics between the AGE viruses.
We collected four years of data on viral AGE from the only medical center in southern Israel before and During the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic. 28% of all rectal swabs taken from symptomatic hospitalized children <5 years were positive for enteric virus by multiplex-PCR, most commonly norovirus. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic disrupted the AGE viruses’ seasonality.