COVID-19 public health measures and respiratory syncytial virus


Philip N Britton, Nan Hu, Gemma Saravanos, Jane Shrapnel, Jake Davis, Tom Snelling, Jacqui Dalby-Payne, Alison M Kesson, Nicholas Wood, Kristine Macartney, Cheryl McCullagh, Raghu Lingam

Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, Volume 4, issue 11, E42-E43, November 01, 2020. DOI:

In New South Wales (NSW), Australia, the public health response was highly effective in controlling the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, clinicians reported fewer than expected presentations and admissions with acute respiratory illness to the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (SCHN). Respiratory syncytial virus is among the most common viruses that cause hospitalisation in children and has predictable winter seasonality. We aimed to quantify the change in frequency and burden of acute respiratory syncytial virus-associated illness presenting to SCHN, the largest provider of tertiary paediatric services in Australia, in 2020 compared with previous years.