This study aimed to investigate non-COVID-19-related upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), gastrointestinal infections (GIIs) and urinary tract infections (UTIs) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany.
Cross-sectional study.
Patients with diagnoses of URTIs, GIIs and UTIs from 994 general practitioners (GP) and 192 paediatric practices that routinely send anonymous data to the Disease Analyzer database (IQVIA) were investigated. We studied the differences in recorded URTIs, GIIs and UTIs between April 2019-March 2020 (non-pandemic period) and April 2020-March 2021 (pandemic period) in terms of rates and baseline characteristics by comparing absolute frequencies.
Compared with the non-pandemic period, the total number of patients with defined diagnoses was lower in the pandemic period (URTIs: 810,324 vs 520,800; GIIs: 253,029 vs 142,037; UTIs: 132,425 vs 117,932). The number of patients per practice with URTIs (683 vs 439, -36%, P < 0.001) and GIIs (213 vs 120, -44%, P < 0.001) decreased significantly during the pandemic period; the decrease in the number of recorded UTIs was smaller (112 vs 99, -11%, P < 0.05). The decrease in diagnoses was more pronounced among paediatricians than GPs (URTIs: -39% vs -35%; GIIs: -57% vs -39%; UTIs: -15% vs -9%). The decrease in URTIs varied between -35% and -40% depending on the age group.
Measures introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce transmission of the virus also helped to reduce the spread of non-COVID-19-related URTIs and GIIs. UTIs were impacted to a lesser extent, with rates seeing a slight decrease. An increase in awareness of infectious diseases may have also contributed to the reduction in recorded diagnoses.

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