COVID-19 Publications

Severe COVID-19 in children and young adults in the Washington, DC Metropolitan region

Tags: , , , , , , , , | May 5th, 2020

Despite worldwide spread of SARS-CoV-2, few publications have reported the potential for severe disease in the pediatric population. We report 177 infected children and young adults, including 44 hospitalized and 9 critically ill patients, with comparison of patient characteristics between infected hospitalized and non-hospitalized cohorts, as well as critically ill and non-critically ill cohorts. Children <1 year and adolescents /young adults >15 years of age were over-represented among hospitalized patients (P = .07). Adolescents/young adults were over-represented among the critically ill cohort. (P = .02).

Since the emergence and worldwide spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus- 2 (SARS-CoV-2), published summaries have predominantly highlighted that children represent a small proportion (<2%) of COVID-19 cases, including hospitalizations and deaths. Although children and young adults clearly are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, attention has focused primarily on their potential role in influencing spread and community transmission rather than the potential severity of infection in children and young adults themselves. Reanalyzed data from the epicenter of the Chinese outbreak noted that children represented 12% of infections. To date, reports of severe disease in international pediatric populations have been limited, primarily descriptive, and in the United States, limited only to incomplete public health epidemiologic data.

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