Clinical and laboratory characteristics of children with SARS-CoV-2 infection

We describe the demographic, clinical, radiological, and laboratory findings of 422 children (0-18 year-of-age) suspected of having severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection admitted to a pediatric emergency department between March 23, and July 23, 2020. We compared the characteristics of SARS-CoV-2-positive patients to SARS-CoV-2-negative patients. SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed in 78 (18.4%). Fever (51.2%) and cough (43.5%) were the most commonly reported signs in the SARS-CoV-2-positive patients. Isolated rhinorrhea (7.2%) was reported only in the SARS-CoV-2-negative group (p = .0014). Patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection were classified according to severity, with the percentages of asymptomatic, mild, moderate, severe, and critical cases determined to be 29.5%, 56.4%, 12.9%, 1.2%, and 0%, respectively. Of the 422 children, 128 (30.3%) underwent nasopharyngeal polymerase chain reaction testing for other respiratory viral pathogens; 21 (16.4%) were infected with viral pathogens other than SARS-CoV-2. Only one patient (4.7%) with confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disease was coinfected with respiratory syncytial virus and rhinovirus. The results indicate lower median white blood cell, neutrophil, and lymphocyte counts, lower lactate dehydrogenase, d-dimer, and procalcitonin levels in the SARS-CoV-2-positive group (p ≤ .001). Our findings confirm that COVID-19 in children has a mild presentation. In our cohort, no patient with SARS-CoV-2 infection had isolated rhinorrhea.

as reported in: Pediatr Pulmonol. 2021 Sep 13 [Epub ahead of print]