COVID Epi Study

Children’s Inpatient Research Collaboration of Australia and New Zealand (CIRCAN) Study of the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on General Paediatric Admissions in Australia

COVID-19 is caused by the novel virus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It has spread rapidly across the world because it is highly contagious and there is no pre-existing immunity within the human population.  Currently, over 6 million people in over 200 countries are known to be infected, which has resulted in over 350 000 deaths. In adults, most are asymptomatic with a proportion being severely affected, some of whom require intensive care and ventilation.  In children however, the disease is milder and most commonly asymptomatic with only the minority displaying symptoms including fever, cough, rhinorrhoea and sore throat. There have been reports of a more severe disease syndrome named Paediatric Inflammatory Multi-System Syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 (PIMS-TS).

Children’s Inpatient Research Collaborative of Australia and New Zealand (CIRCAN) is a team of clinicians from 35 hospitals across Australasia.  This collaboration is in a unique position to study the impact of the aforementioned public health measures on children by examining data from paediatric inpatient units across Australia. It is hypothesised that the public health measures have resulted in a reduction in respiratory and other infection presentations in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.  Through this collaboration, the group plan on characterising the changes in number and profile of inpatient paediatric admissions to hospitals across Australia in response to the various stages of public health measures implemented by the Australian Government.


This study is a multi-centre epidemiological observational study using routinely collected data for patients aged 0 to 16 years admitted under general paediatric teams in both tertiary and non-tertiary centres in the CIRCAN collaboration. 

Data will be collected for the period January to December 2019 (Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic) and January to December 2020 (During the COVID-19 pandemic).



The primary aim is to compare the burden of general paediatric inpatient and hospital in the home admissions in tertiary and non-tertiary hospitals across Australia prior to and during the COVID 19 pandemic.


Secondary aims 

Secondary aims will be to examine the change in profile of the patients admitted under General Paediatric teams including demographic features (age, gender), severity of illness and types of diagnoses. 

For further information please contact Jacqueline Dalby-Payne at


Our partners & supporters