Reporting of Infectious Diseases in the United States During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic

Reporting of infectious diseases other than COVID-19 has been greatly decreased throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We find this decrease varies by routes of transmission, reporting state, and COVID-19 incidence at the time of reporting. These results underscore the need for continual investment in routine surveillance efforts despite pandemic conditions.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to substantial changes in population behaviors within the United States, potentially resulting in altered patterns of exposure to other infectious pathogens [1]. Evidence suggests the same nonpharmaceutical interventions employed to prevent transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) likely led to reduced incidence of influenza in the United States and other countries in 2020 [23]. The COVID-19 pandemic has also caused disruptions in the reporting of other infectious diseases. It has been shown that reporting of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) was reduced during national surges in COVID-19 incidence [4] and STD programs nationwide report reappropriation of resources towards COVID-19 response, with disruption of typical disease intervention services [5]. Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on transmission patterns of other infectious diseases holds significant implications for public health, but this topic has not yet been studied within the United States. We analyzed national- and state-level surveillance data from 2015 to 2021 to better understand how infectious diseases reporting changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and how such changes may have varied by geography and route of transmission.

This study was published in Clinical Infectious Diseases