THURSDAY, Sept. 15, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Hospitalizations for pediatric brain abscesses, epidural empyemas, and subdural empyemas associated with Streptococcus species peaked in March 2022, consistent with historical trends, according to research published in the Sept. 16 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Following reports of three children in California hospitalized concurrently for brain abscess, epidural empyema, or subdural empyema caused by Streptococcus intermedius, Emma K. Accorsi, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed nationally representative pediatric hospitalizations for brain abscess and empyema through collaboration with the Children’s Hospital Association.

The researchers found that after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, there was a decrease in hospitalizations, followed by an increase during summer 2021 to a peak in March 2022. Hospitalizations subsequently declined to baseline levels. No evidence of higher levels of intensive care unit admission, mortality, genetic relatedness of isolates from different patients, or increased antimicrobial resistance of isolates was seen after the increase in summer 2021. The March 2022 peak in cases was consistent with historical seasonal fluctuations noted since 2016.

“Nationally representative hospitalizations during January 2016 to May 2022 indicate that the number of pediatric brain abscess, epidural empyema, and subdural empyema cases in 2021 were within historical limits. High case counts in March 2022 were consistent with seasonal peaks in cases observed in March since 2016, but not previously reported,” the authors write.

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