Introduction: Social distancing has been utilized during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2; it is also expected to reduce the spread of common respiratory viruses.
Methods: This retrospective, descriptive study assessed the rate of positivity of common respiratory viruses from a commercially available respiratory pathogen panel across a five-hospital health system during four-week periods within March to April of 2019 and 2020.
Results: During the four-week period in 2019, the percent positivity of common respiratory viruses from week 1 to week 4 decreased from 6 to 32% among the four included viruses. In the comparator period in 2020, a decrease ranging from 74 to 100% was observed from week 1 to week 4.
Conclusions: These data indicate that the social distancing efforts implemented in Louisville, Kentucky, may be associated with a decrease in incidence of common respiratory viruses. This decrease in positivity of common respiratory viruses may serve as a surrogate marker for the effect of social distancing on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.
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Bohn, Brian C. PharmD, BCIDP; Wilde, Ashley M. PharmD, BCPS-AQ ID; Moore, Sarah E. PharmD; Song, Matthew PharmD, BCIDP; Patross, Clayton J. PharmD, BCPS; Junkins, Alan D. PhD, D(ABMM); Schulz, Paul MD; and Ramirez, Julio A. MD FACP
"The Incidence of Common Respiratory Viruses During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results From the Louisville COVID-19 Epidemiology Study,"
The University of Louisville Journal of Respiratory Infections: Vol. 4
, Article 58.
Available at: https://ir.library.louisville.edu/jri/vol4/iss1/58