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In American journal of otolaryngology ; h5-index 23.0

PURPOSE : SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has reduced social interaction even among children. The objective of the study was to assess the role of social distancing in the course of common pediatric upper airway recurrent diseases.

MATERIALS AND METHODS : Patients aged ≤14 years with at least one ENT-related clinical condition were retrospectively recruited. All patients had two outpatient evaluations in the same period (April - September): the control group had the first evaluation in 2018 and second in 2019, whereas the case group had the first evaluation in 2019 and second in 2020. Patients of each group were individually compared between their two visits and deemed improved/unchanged/worsened for each specific ENT condition. The percentage of children improved/unchanged/worsened were then collectively compared between the two groups for each condition.

RESULTS : Patients who experienced social distancing presented a significantly higher improvement rate than controls for recurrent acute otitis media episodes (35.1 % vs. 10.8 %; Fisher's exact test p = 0.033) and for tympanogram type (54.5 % vs. 11.1 %, Fisher's exact test p = 0.009).

CONCLUSIONS : The anti-contagion social restrictions decreased the prevalence of middle ear infections and effusion in children. Further studies on larger cohorts are required to better elucidate these findings.

Franchella Sebastiano, Favaretto Niccolò, Frigo Annachiara, Franz Leonardo, Pilo Simona, Mularoni Francesca, Marciani Silvia, Nicolai Piero, Marioni Gino, Cazzador Diego


COVID-19, Pediatric, SARS-CoV-2, Social distancing, Upper airways infection