Expert advice

Children’s respiratory illnesses: why are emergency department attendances on the rise?

With lockdown easing, some hospitals report a surge in presentations usually seen in winter

With lockdown easing, hospitals report a surge in presentations usually seen in winter, but the surge is not COVID-related

Emergency departments (EDs) are reportedly seeing very high numbers of young children for this time of year.

The attendances are not related to COVID-19, but instead appear to be linked to respiratory infections usually seen during winter.

What kind of respiratory illnesses are being seen?

The increase in cases is related to a range of respiratory infections, including respiratory syncytial virus and bronchiolitis, parainfluenza and rhinovirus, all of


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