Symptomatic Infants have Higher Nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 Viral Loads but Less Severe Disease than Older Children
Published data suggest lower rates of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID19) in pediatric age groups . However, the relative contribution of infants and children to community transmission is not known. Data from China suggest that children were infected early in the outbreak. A report published in this journal described the presence of a high nasopharyngeal (NP) viral load of severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in a well infant. Whether this observation is generalizable to symptomatic infants, and how it compares to NP viral loads in older children and adolescents is not known. Studies in adults have demonstrated a positive correlation between viral load and COVID-19 severity. While some data have suggested a higher disease severity in infants [2,6], how NP viral load correlates with severity across the pediatric age spectrum has not been firmly established. Here we report NP viral load among infants, children and adolescents who were hospitalized and discharged from our children’s hospital from March 14th to April 24th , 2020.
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