Journal Article

Clinical Characteristics of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection in Hospitalized Healthy Infants and Young Children in Qatar

A. Abdul Wahab, S. T. Dawod and H. M. Abdul Raman

in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics

Volume 47, issue 6, pages 363-366
Published in print December 2001 | ISSN: 0142-6338
Published online December 2001 | e-ISSN: 1465-3664 | DOI:
Clinical Characteristics of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection in Hospitalized Healthy Infants and Young Children in Qatar

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To evaluate seasonal trends, clinical profile, and outcome of disease in previously healthy infants and young children hospitalized for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection at Hamad Medical Corporation in the state of Qatar, we reviewed the records of 257 children admitted between 1 January 1996 and 31 December 1998. RSV epidemics occurred yearly during the winter months with peak hospitalizations occuring between November and February. Of the 257 admissions, 160 (62.3 per cent) were male and 97 (37.7 per cent) female. The mean age of all children was 5.7 months (range, 10 days to 32 months). The most common admitting diagnoses were bronchiolitis (59.9 per cent), pneumonia (17.5 per cent), bronchiolitis with pneumonia (8.9 per cent), possible sepsis (7.8 per cent), asthma (4.7 per cent) and apnea (1.2 per cent). A family history of asthma was quite common (63.8 per cent), although no statistical significant difference was noted in complication or length of stay. Treatment was supportive, the majority of the patients received oxygen therapy in 77.8 per cent of cases, bronchodilators in 85.4 per cent, and antibiotics therapy in 49.4 per cent. The median duration of hospital stay was 6 days (range, 1 to 29 days). Of the 14 (5.4 per cent) patients requiring intensive care, four (1.6 per cent) needed mechanical ventilation. No deaths were reported, but subjects aged ≤12 months had a significantly higher oxygen requirement, intensive care unit admission, bronchodilators and antibiotics therapy than those > 12 months old. Within 1–2 years after admission with RSV infection, 63 of the 257 patients attended for recurrent episodes of wheezy chest. These results indicate that, during the season of infection, RSV is an important pathogen in infants and young children in the state of Qatar, highlighting the need for development of effective vaccines to ameliorate the impact of annual RSV epidemics in infants and young children.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Paediatrics

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