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Exploring the epidemiological changes of common respiratory viruses since the COVID-19 pandemic: a hospital study in Hangzhou, China
Archives of Virology  (IF2.574),  Pub Date : 2021-09-04, DOI: 10.1007/s00705-021-05214-8
Du, Xinke, Wu, Guangsheng, Zhu, Yafei, Zhang, Siqi

Adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, and influenza virus are common causes of respiratory infections. The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on their prevalence. The aim of this study was to analyze the epidemic changes of common respiratory viruses in the Affiliated Hospital of Hangzhou Normal University in Hangzhou, China, from October of 2017 to February of 2021. We collected statistics from 121,529 patients in the outpatient and inpatient departments of the hospital who had throat or nose swabs collected for testing for four virus antigens by the colloidal gold method. Of these, 13,200 (10.86%) were positive for influenza A virus, 8,402 (6.91%) were positive for influenza B virus, 6,056 (4.98%) were positive for adenovirus, and 4,739 (3.90%) were positive for respiratory syncytial virus. The positivity rates of the influenza A virus (0-14 years old, P = 0.376; over 14 years old, P = 0.197) and respiratory syncytial virus (0-14 years old, P = 0.763; over 14 years old, P = 0.465) did not differ significantly by gender. After January of 2020, influenza virus infection decreased significantly. The positivity rate of respiratory syncytial virus remained high, and its epidemic season was similar to before. Strict respiratory protection and regulation of crowd activities have a great impact on the epidemic characteristics of viruses. After major changes in the public health environment, virus epidemics and their mutations should be monitored closely, extensively, and continuously.