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Brief Report

Factors Influencing the Frequency of Airway Infections in Underage Refugees: A Retrospective, Cross Sectional Study

1
Department of General Practice, University Medical Center Goettingen, 37073 Goettingen, Germany
2
Department of Pediatrics, Neonatology and Allergology, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Germany
3
German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), partner site Hannover-Braunschweig, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany
4
Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Germany
5
Department of Medical Statistics, University Medical Center Goettingen, 37073 Goettingen, Germany
6
Department of General Practice, University Hospital Wuerzburg, 97080 Wuerzburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6823; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186823
Received: 19 August 2020 / Revised: 13 September 2020 / Accepted: 15 September 2020 / Published: 18 September 2020
Background: Infections are a leading cause of refugee morbidity. Recent data on the rate of airway infections and factors influencing their spread in refugee reception centers is scarce. Methods: A retrospective, cross-sectional study of de-identified medical records with a focus on respiratory infections in underage refugees was conducted at two large German refugee reception centers. Results: In total, medical data from n = 10,431 refugees over an observational period of n = 819 days was analyzed. Among pediatric patients (n = 4289), 55.3% presented at least once to the on-site medical ward with an acute respiratory infection or signs thereof. In 38.4% of pediatric consultations, acute airway infections or signs thereof were present. Airway infections spiked during colder months and were significantly more prevalent amongst preschool and resettled children. Their frequency displayed a positive correlation with the number of refugees housed at the reception centers. Conclusions: We show that respiratory infections are a leading cause for morbidity in young refugees and that their rate is influenced age, season, status, and residential density. This illustrates the need to protect refugee children from contracting airway infections which may also reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during the current pandemic. View Full-Text
Keywords: refugees; migrants; respiratory infection; children; adolescents; seasonality; crowded housing; COVID-19; containment refugees; migrants; respiratory infection; children; adolescents; seasonality; crowded housing; COVID-19; containment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Müller, F.; Hummers, E.; Hillermann, N.; Dopfer, C.; Jablonka, A.; Friede, T.; Simmenroth, A.; Wetzke, M. Factors Influencing the Frequency of Airway Infections in Underage Refugees: A Retrospective, Cross Sectional Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6823. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186823

AMA Style

Müller F, Hummers E, Hillermann N, Dopfer C, Jablonka A, Friede T, Simmenroth A, Wetzke M. Factors Influencing the Frequency of Airway Infections in Underage Refugees: A Retrospective, Cross Sectional Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(18):6823. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186823

Chicago/Turabian Style

Müller, Frank, Eva Hummers, Nele Hillermann, Christian Dopfer, Alexandra Jablonka, Tim Friede, Anne Simmenroth, and Martin Wetzke. 2020. "Factors Influencing the Frequency of Airway Infections in Underage Refugees: A Retrospective, Cross Sectional Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 18: 6823. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186823

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