Comparison of the medical burden of COVID-19 with seasonal influenza and measles outbreaks

Dafna Nesselroth, Hussam Yakub Hana, Alexandra Gleyzer, Eric A.F. Simoes, Mahdi Abu Atta, Yoram Ben Yehuda, Haim Bibi, Ido Somekh, Eli Somekh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To examine and compare the medical burden of measles, influenza and COVID-19 outbreaks in the city of Bnei Brak, Israel. Methods: The study was conducted during 2018–2021. The numbers of hospitalisations for these infections and their complications were recorded. Hospitalisation rates were determined by using the number of children residing in Bnei Brak and hospitalised with these infections during the study period as the numerators. The denominators were the estimated paediatric cases of measles, influenza and COVID-19 in Bnei Brak and were calculated under both pragmatic and conservative assumptions. Results: A total of 247, 65 and 32 children were hospitalised with influenza, COVID-19 and measles respectively. Complication rates were higher following measles than after influenza and SARS-CoV-2 infections. Hospitalisation rates were 10% for measles, 0.6%-1.2% for influenza and 0.15% - 0.25% for COVID-19 infections. Relative risks (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for hospitalisation following measles compared with COVID-19 ranged from 42 (26.3–67.3) to 70.1 (43.8–112.1), while the relative risks for influenza hospitalisation ranged from 2.5 (1.83–3.41) to 8.2 (6.0–11.2), compared with COVID-19 infection. Conclusion: Hospitalisation rates and direct medical burdens of measles and influenza were significantly higher than those of COVID-19 infection in children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-601
Number of pages7
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • COVID-19
  • hospitalisations
  • influenza virus


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