eISSN: 2449-8580
ISSN: 1734-3402
Family Medicine & Primary Care Review
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4/2021
vol. 23
 
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abstract:
Review paper

Differential diagnosis of respiratory viral infections in children in the COVID-19 pandemic time

Ewelina Wawryk-Gawda
1
,
Andrzej Emeryk
1
,
Agnieszka Chojęta
2

1.
Department of Paediatric Pulmonology and Rheumatology, Medical University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland
2.
Medical Laboratory DIAGNOSTYKA, Lublin, Poland
Family Medicine & Primary Care Review 2021; 23(4): 501–507
Online publish date: 2021/12/30
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Background
Respiratory tract infections (RTIs) constitute the most common reason for pediatric patients to report to primary care facilities. Additionally, RTIs are also a significant problem among hospitalized patients. Due to the lack of specificity in the observed symptoms, RTIs cause both diagnostic and therapeutic difficulties.

Objectives
The aim of our study was to explain the causes of RTIs in the pediatric population and to provide guidelines to facilitate diagnosis.

Material and methods
In the study, the authors analyzed available literature dealing with the possibility of laboratory diagnosis and the results of treatment used in children with RTIs.

Results
In pediatric patients, RTIs are mainly caused by viruses and occur seasonally during the autumn-winter period. There are certain factors, such as physiological distinctness resulting from developmental immaturity of the body, genetically determined diseases and specific diseases occurring during childhood, which contribute to the incidence of RTIs. Moreover, factors depending on the mother and the growth environment also significantly affect the incidence of RTIs in children.

Conclusions
Available knowledge concerning the seasonality of the occurrence of individual pathogens and the differences in symptoms may facilitate an initial diagnosis. However, lower respiratory tract infections, and severe infections in particular, require the use of specific diagnostic tests which allow for both the identification of the etiological factors and the implementation of targeted treatment. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the difficulties in the diagnosis and therapy of RTIs in pediatric patients, as well as the need to develop more sensitive diagnostic tools and a more effective treatment.

keywords:

infections, respiratory tract diseases, viruses, SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, human influenza, rhinovirus, hypersensitivity

 
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