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12 December 2021 : Laboratory Research  

Influenza and Influenza-Like Respiratory Virus Infections in Children During the 2019/20 Influenza Seazon and the COVID-19 Pandemic in Poland: Data from the Department of Influenza Research, the National Influenza Center at the National Institute of Public Health, National Institute of Hygiene-National Research Institute and 16 Voivodeship Sanitary and Epidemiological Stations

Katarzyna Kondratiuk1ACDEF*, Ewelina Hallmann1CDEF, Katarzyna Łuniewska1CDEF, Karol Szymański ORCID logo1BCDEF, Małgorzata Niedzielak1CDEF, Lidia B. Brydak1ADEFG

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.934862

Med Sci Monit 2021; 27:e934862

Abstract

BACKGROUND: This population study aimed to investigate influenza and influenza-like respiratory virus infections in children during the 2019/20 influenza season and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Poland.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: This study analyzed data from the National Influenza Centre, the Department of Influenza Research at the National Institute of Public Health, and 16 Voivodeship Sanitary and Epidemiological Stations in Poland. Nose and throat swabs were obtained from children during the 2019/20 influenza season and the COVID-19 pandemic. Viral RNA detection was performed using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) to diagnose influenza virus infection and viral subtypes.

RESULTS: In the analyzed group, both cases of influenza A and B and infections with influenza-like viruses were confirmed. Among all cases caused by influenza viruses, influenza A was more frequent than B, with predominance of the A/H1N1/pdm09 subtype. The flu-like virus which infected most children was the human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The greatest number of cases with RSV was registered in the group of the youngest children (0-4 years).

CONCLUSIONS: This population study from Poland showed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, and during the winter influenza season of 2019/20, influenza and influenza-like viral infections in children showed some differences from previous influenza seasons. The findings highlight the importance of viral infection surveillance and influenza vaccination in the pediatric population.

Keywords: Epidemiology, Influenza A virus, Influenza B virus, Influenza, Human, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750