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Waiting for the next winter. Outpatient pediatric visits for respiratory infections before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic in the city of Buenos Aires
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  • Fernando Ferrero,
  • Paula Gonzalez Pannia,
  • Fernando Torres,
  • Manuel Rodriguez Tablado
Fernando Ferrero
Hospital General de Ninos Pedro de Elizalde

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Paula Gonzalez Pannia
Hospital General de Ninos Pedro de Elizalde
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Fernando Torres
Hospital General de Ninos Pedro de Elizalde
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Manuel Rodriguez Tablado
Buenos Aires Ciudad
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Introduction: During the COVID-19 pandemic, pediatric visits due to acute lower respiratory infections (ALRIs) decreased, but most reports are from hospitalized patients. There is little information on this phenomenon in outpatients, who are the majority in IRABs. We evaluated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on ALRIs related outpatient visits in the City of Buenos Aires. Methods: Observational study including all outpatient visits of children under 2 years of age to the public health system of the City of Buenos Aires, between Jan 01, 2018 and Dec 31, 2022. We estimated the total number visits and the ALRIs-related visits, and their distribution throughout the study period. Results: A total of 704,426 visits were registered, 7.38% of them due to ALRIs. ALRIs-related visits decreased from the implementation of a national lockdown (2020) and increased again as the restriction measures decreased, particularly the return to full school attendance (2021). In general, the proportion of ALRIs-related vists was significantly higher in the cold months than in the warm ones (9.8% vs. 5.5%; OR: 1.76, 95%CI: 1.73-1.79; p<0.001). This difference was observed before (2018, 2019) and after the pandemic (2022), but not in 2020-2021. The peak of ALRIs-related visits occurred in the cold months in pre-pandemic years (2018-2019), did not appear in 2020, reappeared delayed in 2021 and recovered seasonality in 2022. Conclusion: Outpatient ALRIs-related visits decreased significantly in the city of Buenos Aires during the COVID-19 pandemic and currently seem to have recovered their magnitude and seasonality.
12 May 2023Submitted to Pediatric Pulmonology
12 May 2023Submission Checks Completed
12 May 2023Assigned to Editor
12 May 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
30 May 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
06 Sep 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Major
16 Sep 20231st Revision Received
16 Sep 2023Submission Checks Completed
16 Sep 2023Assigned to Editor
16 Sep 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
16 Sep 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
10 Oct 2023Editorial Decision: Accept