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Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology ; 151(2):AB72, 2023.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2239476


Rationale: To reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2, non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), including school closures, hand hygiene, mask mandates, and social distancing, were enforced in Arkansas from 3/2020-2/2021. We hypothesized that the presence of NPIs would correlate with a decrease in asthma exacerbations and viral infections. Methods: Demographic information was collected on subjects with asthma exacerbations or viral infections from 3/2018-5/2022, including age, race, ethnicity, and sex. To evaluate the effects of NPIs, three periods were considered: pre- (03/2018-02/2020), during (03/2020-02/2021), and post- (03/2021-05/2022) NPIs. ANOVA analysis and generalized linear models were performed to determine statistical significance. The stringency of NPIs was evaluated using publicly available data (Oxford Covid-19 Government Response Tracker), which allows for direct comparison of Arkansas NPI status to exacerbation data during the same time periods. Results: 5055 asthma exacerbations (3322 unique subjects) occurred between 3/2018-5/2022. Asthma exacerbations decreased from 3/2020-3/2021 and returned to pre-pandemic numbers by summer 2021 (p<0.0001). Similar downward trends occurred for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) with out-of-season return in summer 2021 (p<0.0001). Rhinovirus was present throughout NPIs. The mean age of exacerbations decreased by 0.9 years when comparing the during NPIs and after NPIs periods (p = 0.0002). An increase in the proportion of exacerbations was noted for non-black and other/unknown ethnicity subjects during and after NPIs. Conclusions: Fewer asthma exacerbations occurred during the most significant NPI employment period (03/2020-02/2021), and an increase in exacerbations was seen as mitigation strategies were relaxed, which correlated with timing of increasing RSV infections.