Conference Coverage

Impact of Respiratory Virus Co-Infection in Pediatric COVID-19

Manvita Mareboina, BS; Katrina Bakhl, BA

In this video, Manvita Mareboina, BS, and Katrina Bakhl, BA, discuss their presentation at IDWeek 2023 titled “Impact of respiratory virus co-infection in pediatric COVID-19,” including the demographics, symptoms, and clinical characteristics and treatments for patients who tested positive for COVID-19 alone and for patients who tested positive for COVID-19 along, with another respiratory virus.

Additional Resource:

Mareboina M, Bakhl K, et al. Impact of respiratory virus co-infection in pediatric COVID-19. Talk presented at: IDWeek 2023. October 11-15, 2023. Accessed October 4, 2023.

For more IDWeek 2023 content, visit the Resource Center.



Katrina Bakhl, BA:

Hi everyone, my name's Katrina. I'm a second year medical student at the Penn State College of Medicine at the University Park Campus.

Manvita Mareboina, BS:

Hi everyone. My name is Manvita. I'm also a second year medical student at the Penn State College of Medicine University Park Campus. My interests and also Katrina's interests are in a lot of looking at respiratory viruses and co-infections and also looking at the pediatric populations. So that's what we're going to be talking about today in our research as well.

Consultant360: Please provide an overview of you session at IDWeek 2023 titled ““Impact of respiratory virus co-infection in pediatric COVID-19.”

COVID-19 hit in December 2019. A lot of children were impacted by COVID-19. There is a distinct clinical profile and various outcomes that are different between pediatric populations and adult populations. And further within pediatric populations, clinical outcomes as well as interventions and treatment modalities may vary depending on whether a child has just COVID-19 or is co-infected with COVID-19 and another respiratory virus. So we wanted to see what the clinical presentations of pediatric patients with COVID-19 and other co-detected respiratory viruses may be and what the symptomology as well as the severity of that COVID-19 and their presenting symptoms and the requirements for interventions such as supplemental oxygen, mechanical ventilation, and ICU admission may look like.

So in order to dig into this topic, we did a retrospective chart review at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital and looked at children who tested positive for COVID between March 2020 and June 2022. And we looked at the demographics, the symptoms, and the clinical characteristics and treatments for patients who tested positive for COVID-19 alone and also patients who tested positive for COVID-19 along with another respiratory virus. So our findings were that we found that over the 460 plus episodes of COVID-19 detection, about a quarter or 123 had co-detection of another respiratory virus. The most commonly co-detected respiratory viruses were rhino and enterovirus. And out of these patients we often found that they were more likely to require supplemental oxygen therapy.

There was no disparities in requirements for mechanical ventilation and ICU admission or mortality, but this finding of the supplemental oxygen therapy as one of the key big outcomes that required additional assistance was pretty significant and important to our study. So this really sheds light on the importance of looking at co-infection with COVID-19 as well as just infection with COVID-19 to see how symptoms may vary in children.

I think this type of research can really guide future studies that may look at maybe more specifically how co-infection between various viruses may vary too and dig deeper into this topic, especially with children considering about a quarter of the pediatric population at Hershey Medical Center during those two years that had COVID-19 had another respiratory illness. So knowing what respiratory illness and how that may affect symptomology can really guide treatment and management outcomes in medical centers.

Katrina Bakhl, BA:

With COVID starting and everyone doing a lot of research and focusing in on adults, a lot of people felt like pregnant patients and children were kind of on the back burner and I feel like this was just another study that could shed greater light on the pediatric population. I'm sure there were other studies done for pregnant patients as well.

Consultant360: What is next for research on this topic?

Katrina Bakhl, BA: Essentially because the pandemic continues to evolve, I feel like a lot of... Not even just for us, but other researchers who are studying COVID I feel like especially with each variant that comes out, it should be... I mean, essentially it should be a great research topic in terms of seeing how that variant affects pediatric populations. I'm sure many researchers, I feel like it will be a very long-term study as to looking how COVID has impacted many different types of patient populations. But I feel like definitely looking at pediatrics and whether or not there are any trends especially in regard to RSV or any other infectious diseases and also how they react to treatment, I'm sure there will also be new treatments that will be coming out and I think looking at how they react to that as well.

Consultant360: What are the overall take-home messages from your presentation and our conversation?

Katrina Bakhl, BA: Considering the fact that our results showed that a little bit over a quarter of the patients that we studied had an existing RSV, I think it's really important to consider that especially when you are admitting somebody. And yes, they test positive for COVID. I feel like it's important to also take a step back and see if there might be other underlying infections and not just hone in on the COVID, that maybe there's another virus that is going on that you do need to account for and potentially modify your treatment plan. And the fact that this was about two years, actually now almost three to four years into the pandemic and there's still not a lot of significant research, and I'm sure a lot of hospitals are still stumped as to what to do when there is a child that is admitted in regards to treatment course and long-term management, as well as the impact that it has on the patient themselves and the families themselves, I feel like there definitely should be greater research done in this aspect.

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