Quantifying changes in respiratory syncytial virus-associated hospitalizations among children in Texas during COVID-19 pandemic using records from 2006 to 2021. Academic Article uri icon


  • AIM: To quantify changes on RSV- associated hospitalizations during COVID-19 pandemic, among children four years of age or younger at the state and county levels of Texas using routinely acquired hospital admission records. METHODS: We used the Texas Public Use Data Files (PUDF) of the Department of State Human Services (DSHS) to obtain hospital admissions and healthcare outcomes from 2006 to 2021. We used the 2006-2019 period to estimate a long-term temporal trend and predict expected values for 2020-2021. Actual and predicted values were used to quantify changes in seasonal trends of the number of hospital admissions and mean length of hospital stay. Additionally, we calculated hospitalization rates and assessed their similarity to rates reported in the RSV Hospitalization Surveillance Network (RSV-NET). RESULTS: An unusually low number of hospitalizations in 2020 was followed by an unusual peak in the third quarter of 2021. Hospital admissions in 2021 were approximately twice those in a typical year. The mean length of hospital stay typically followed a seasonal trend before COVID-19, but increased by a factor of 6.5 during the pandemic. Spatial distribution of hospitalization rates revealed localized healthcare infrastructure overburdens during COVID-19. RSV associated hospitalization rates were, on average, two times higher than those of RSV-NET. CONCLUSION: Hospital admission data can be used to estimate long-term temporal and spatial trends and quantify changes during events that exacerbate healthcare systems, such as pandemics. Using the mean difference between hospital rates calculated with hospital admissions and hospital rates obtained from RSV-NET, we speculate that state-level hospitalization rates for 2022 could be at least twice those observed in the two previous years, and the highest in the last 17 years.

published proceedings

  • Front Pediatr

altmetric score

  • 75.58

author list (cited authors)

  • Uwak, I., Johnson, N., Mustapha, T., Rahman, M., Tonpay, T., Regan, A. K., & Mendoza-Sanchez, I.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Uwak, Inyang||Johnson, Natalie||Mustapha, Toriq||Rahman, Mariya||Tonpay, Tanaya||Regan, Annette K||Mendoza-Sanchez, Itza

publication date

  • January 2023