Programme no. 438-OP
Public Health
Infectious morbidity in 18-month-old children. A prospective study in Iceland
Gudrun Johanna Georgsdottir*1, Jóhann Ágúst Sigurðsson2, Vilhjálmur Ari Arason3, Sesselja Guðmundsdottir4
1Heilsugæslan Fjörður ,Heilsugæsla Höfuðborgarsvæðisins,Hafnarfjörður,Iceland, 2 Læknadeild,Háskóli Íslands,Reykjavík,Iceland, 3 Læknadeild,Háskóli Íslands,Reykjavík,Iceland, 4Þroska og hegðunarstöð,Heilsugæsla höfuðborgarsvæðisins,Reykjavík,Iceland
* = Presenting author

What is the prevalence of infectious diseases among young children and their families? How much of the infectious symptoms do the families deal with themselves, what is the rate of doctors’ visits and antibiotic prescriptions?


Infections are common among children and the most common reason for contact with the health care personnel at the primary care setting among children and parents with young children. Of those who seek help, respiratory tract infections are the most common. Prospective studies on this problem are rare, and little is known about infections in young children and their families, which does not lead to contact within the health care system.


Of all children, 92.4% got symptoms of infectious diseases, of whom 65% had rhinitis as the most common symptom. The prevalence of days with symptoms was 36.1% (2788/7691) person-days. During the observation period 20% of the children had medical visits and 45% of those were treated with antibiotics, mostly penicillin. 19.4% of the children had been treated with tympanostomy tubes.


During November 2012 till Mars 2014, parents who came for routine check-ups with 18-month old children at their Health Care Centres in five different municipalities in Iceland were asked to participate, answer a questionnaire, and fill out a logbook, day by day during the next 31 days, regarding the child. Main outcome measures were specific infectious symptoms, health care visits, rate and type of antibiotic prescriptions, use of tympanostomy tube.


Infections are very common among 18-mohts old children. Parents manage to deal with most of them.

Points for discussion:

1) Are families with young children prepared for the high incidence of infectious diseases among their children?

2) Can medical advice and support be improved to families with young children

3) Can antibiotic prescribing be improved?