Morbidity of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Infections: RSV Compared With Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Infections in Children Aged 0-4 Years in Cologne, Germany

J Infect Dis. 2022 Dec 13;226(12):2050-2053. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiac052.


The aim of this retrospective analysis was to provide information on how infections with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) differ in symptoms, clinical course, outcome, and utilization of hospital care. We investigated 748 polymerase chain reaction results from symptomatic children aged 0-4 years in Cologne, Germany. One hundred sixty-nine patients tested positive for RSV (22.6%) and 24 children for SARS-CoV-2 (3.2%). Symptomatic patients with RSV infection were hospitalized significantly longer. RSV-positive patients needed oxygen supplementation significantly more often as well as high-flow therapy. With regard to care efforts, RSV-infected patients put higher pressure on the hospital and utilized more hospital resources.

Keywords: COVID-19; Germany; RSV infections; children; hospitalization.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Morbidity
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human* / genetics
  • Respiratory Tract Infections*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2