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Study: Most young children with pre-pandemic coronavirus bronchiolitis had co-infection :

June 10, 2020

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Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, young children with bronchiolitis linked to other coronaviruses often had multiple infections, according to a new study.

Researchers studied 1,880 children hospitalized with bronchiolitis from two multicenter cohorts — a group under 2 years from 2007-’10 and a group under 1 year from 2011-’14. Children were tested for 18 viruses, including four endemic coronaviruses (CoV), which are not the newest CoV identified (SARS-CoV-2).

Roughly 12% of the children had a coronavirus. Of those, 85% also had another infection, most commonly respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), according to “Severe Coronavirus Bronchiolitis in the Pre-COVID-19 Era,” (Mansbach JM, et al. Pediatrics. June 10, 2020,

“Until SARS-CoV-2 testing is more rapid and widely available and false negatives are better understood, the present results are a warning to clinicians currently caring for children with respiratory symptoms that identifying a common respiratory virus (e.g., RSV or rhinovirus) does not exclude co-infection with SARS-CoV-2,” authors wrote.

Children with both one of the older coronavirus infections and RSV needed intensive care at about the same rate as those who only had RSV. However, having a higher viral load of coronavirus was linked to more severe illness.

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