Early during the COVID-19 pandemic, seizure-related ED visits decreased and then almost returned to pre-pandemic levels for nearly all age groups by the end of 2020, according to research published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Daniel Pastula, MD, and colleagues used data from the National Syndromic Surveillance Program to examine trends in weekly seizure- or epilepsy-related ED visits before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the early pandemic period, seizure-related ED visits decreased abruptly. For persons of all ages, except children aged 0-9, seizure-related ED visits returned almost to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2020. This age group gradually returned to baseline by mid-2021. The reasons underlying the decrease in seizure-related ED visits in 2020 and slow return to baseline for children aged 0-9 are unclear but may have been associated with fear of COVID-19 exposure, according to Dr. Pastula and colleagues.
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