COVID-19 Publications

21

Jul, 2020

Co-infection and other clinical characteristics of COVID-19 in children

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Background and Objectives Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a newly identified pathogen that mainly spreads by droplets. Most published studies have been focused on adult patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but data concerning pediatric patients are limited. In this study, we aimed to determine epidemiological characteristics and clinical features of pediatric patients with COVID-19.

Methods We reviewed and analyzed data on pediatric patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, including basic information, epidemiological history, clinical manifestations, laboratory and radiologic findings, treatment, outcome, and follow-up results.

Results A total of 74 pediatric patients with COVID-19 were included in this study. Of the 68 case patients whose epidemiological data were complete, 65 (65 of 68; 95.59%) were household contacts of adults. Cough (32.43%) and fever (27.03%) were the predominant symptoms of 44 (59.46%) symptomatic patients at onset of the illness. Abnormalities in leukocyte count were found in 23 (31.08%) children, and 10 (13.51%) children presented with abnormal lymphocyte count. Of the 34 (45.95%) patients who had nucleic acid testing results for common respiratory pathogens, 19 (51.35%) showed coinfection with other pathogens other than SARS-CoV-2. Ten (13.51%) children had real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis for fecal specimens, and 8 of them showed prolonged existence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA.

Conclusions Pediatric patients with COVID-19 presented with distinct epidemiological, clinical, and radiologic characteristics from adult patients. Nearly one-half of the infected children had coinfection with other common respiratory pathogens. It is not uncommon for pediatric patients to have prolonged fecal shedding of SARS-CoV-2 RNA during the convalescent phase.

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6

Jul, 2020

Paediatric COVID‐19 admissions in a region with open schools during the two first months of the pandemic

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Abstract According to the United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organization, 194 countries had implemented country-wide school closures by April 1st 2020 in an effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s estimated that those closures affected 91.3% of students across the globe. However, Sweden adopted a different approach to the strict lockdowns imposed elsewhere and day care centres and schools for children up to 15 years of age remained open. The strategy decision to shift schools to distance learning only for children aged 16 years and older was influenced by multiple factors, including the potential impact on school closures on the availability of the healthcare work force, the increasing evidence of mainly mild infections among children and the potential negative consequences of school closures for younger children.

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21

Jun, 2020

A multicenter national survey of children with SARS-CoV-2 infection admitted to Spanish Pediatric Intensive Care Units

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The pandemic outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 is the greatest challenge ever faced by intensive care units throughout the globe. Most studies report a low incidence and little need for hospitalization in children. Nevertheless, up to 10% of hospitalized children under 1 year of age require PICU admission. The first cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Spain were identified in February. Te number of cases increased significantly during the following weeks . Although children appear to be relatively spared of severe disease, the Spanish Ministry of Health reported over 200 children requiring admission to a pediatric ward, 10% of which were admitted to a PICU. We present the preliminary results of a national multicenter registry of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children requiring intensive care.

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21

Jun, 2020

Clinical characteristics of acute respiratory syndrome with SARS-CoV-2 infection in children in South China

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Background A retrospective study was conducted to summarize the clinical information of childhood infections during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) epidemic.

Methods Children with SARS‐CoV‐2 infection in 11 hospitals from three provinces of South China were included in the study. Clinical information was collected and compared with children and adults infected by SARS‐CoV‐2 in Wuhan.

Results In total, 52 children were enrolled, including 28 boys. The median age was 9 years (interquartile range [IQR], 4‐12); 44.2% cases were of clustered occurrences, 40.4% patients had fever, 48.1% had cough, and 46.2% had a high lymphocyte count. No abnormalities were found in the liver and kidney function. Also, 82.7% of patients received antiviral therapy, but such therapy did not shorten the time to virus negativity or hospital stay (P = .082). The time to virus negativity was 12.0 days (IQR, 8.0‐16.8) and hospital stay was 14.5 days (IQR, 10.3‐17.9). Compared with reports in Wuhan, there were more acute upper respiratory tract infection (AURTI) and fewer pneumonia cases (P = .000). Compared with the non‐ICU adult COVID‐19 in Wuhan, these children’s diseases were relatively mild, with fewer complications.

Conclusions Children with SARS‐CoV‐2 infection had a mild fever, lymphocyte elevation was more common than reduction, and antiviral treatment had no obvious effect. The overall clinical manifestations were mild, and the prognosis was good.
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21

Jun, 2020

COVID-19 in children and adolescents in Europe: a multinational, multicentre cohort study

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Background To date, few data on paediatric COVID-19 have been published, and most reports originate from China. This study aimed to capture key data on children and adolescents with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection across Europe to inform physicians and health-care service planning during the ongoing pandemic.

Methods This multicentre cohort study involved 82 participating health-care institutions across 25 European countries, using a well established research network—the Paediatric Tuberculosis Network European Trials Group (ptbnet)—that mainly comprises paediatric infectious diseases specialists and paediatric pulmonologists. We included all individuals aged 18 years or younger with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, detected at any anatomical site by RTPCR, between April 1 and April 24, 2020, during the initial peak of the European COVID-19 pandemic. We explored factors associated with need for intensive care unit (ICU) admission and initiation of drug treatment for COVID-19 using univariable analysis, and applied multivariable logistic regression with backwards stepwise analysis to further explore those factors significantly associated with ICU admission.

Findings 582 individuals with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were included, with a median age of 5·0 years (IQR 0·5–12·0) and a sex ratio of 1·15 males per female. 145 (25%) had pre-existing medical conditions. 363 (62%) individuals were admitted to hospital. 48 (8%) individuals required ICU admission, 25 (4%) mechanical ventilation (median duration 7 days, IQR 2–11, range 1–34), 19 (3%) inotropic support, and one (<1%) extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Significant risk factors for requiring ICU admission in multivariable analyses were being younger than 1 month (odds ratio 5·06, 95% CI 1·72–14·87; p=0·0035), male sex (2·12, 1·06–4·21; p=0·033), pre-existing medical conditions (3·27, 1·67–6·42; p=0·0015), and presence of lower respiratory tract infection signs or symptoms at presentation (10·46, 5·16–21·23; p<0·0001). The most frequently used drug with antiviral activity was hydroxychloroquine (40 [7%] patients), followed by remdesivir (17 [3%] patients), lopinavir–ritonavir (six [1%] patients), and oseltamivir (three [1%] patients). Immunomodulatory medication used included corticosteroids (22 [4%] patients), intravenous immunoglobulin (seven [1%] patients), tocilizumab (four [1%] patients), anakinra (three [1%] patients), and siltuximab (one [<1%] patient). Four children died (case-fatality rate 0·69%, 95% CI 0·20–1·82); at study end, the remaining 578 were alive and only 25 (4%) were still symptomatic or requiring respiratory support.

Interpretation COVID-19 is generally a mild disease in children, including infants. However, a small proportion develop severe disease requiring ICU admission and prolonged ventilation, although fatal outcome is overall rare. The data also reflect the current uncertainties regarding specific treatment options, highlighting that additional data on antiviral and immunomodulatory drugs are urgently needed.

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20

Jun, 2020

Persistence of SARS-CoV-2 virus RNA in feces: a case series of children

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Aims To determine how long SARS-CoV-2 virus RNA persists in fecal specimens in children with COVID-19.

Methods Retrospectively, ten children with confirmed COVID-19 in the Jinan Infectious Disease Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University were enrolled between January 23, 2020 to March 9, 2020. Epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, and radiological characteristics of the children were analyzed. RT-PCR assays were performed to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus RNA in the respiratory tract and fecal specimens in the follow-up after discharge.

Results Among ten patients, five (50%) were asymptomatic and five (50%) showed mild symptoms of respiratory illness. The average age of asymptomatic children was younger than that of symptomatic children (p = 0.03). The decreases in white blood cell (WBC) (p = 0.03) and lymphocyte (p = 0.03) counts were more severe in symptomatic patients than those in asymptomatic patients. During the follow-up examination after discharge, seven out of ten patients contained SARS-CoV-2 virus RNA in their fecal specimens, despite all patients showed negative results in respiratory tract specimens. One out of those seven patients relapsed. The median time from onset to being negative results in respiratory tract and fecal specimens was 9 days and 34.43 days, respectively.

Conclusions SARS-CoV-2 virus RNA persists much longer in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract than that in respiratory tract.

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9

Jun, 2020

Clinical characteristics of 58 children with a Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome Temporally Associated with SARS-CoV-2

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Importance  In communities with high rates of coronavirus disease 2019, reports have emerged of children with an unusual syndrome of fever and inflammation.

Objectives  To describe the clinical and laboratory characteristics of hospitalized children who met criteria for the pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (PIMS-TS) and compare these characteristics with other pediatric inflammatory disorders.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Case series of 58 children from 8 hospitals in England admitted between March 23 and May 16, 2020, with persistent fever and laboratory evidence of inflammation meeting published definitions for PIMS-TS. The final date of follow-up was May 22, 2020. Clinical and laboratory characteristics were abstracted by medical record review, and were compared with clinical characteristics of patients with Kawasaki disease (KD) (n = 1132), KD shock syndrome (n = 45), and toxic shock syndrome (n = 37) who had been admitted to hospitals in Europe and the US from 2002 to 2019.

Exposures  Signs and symptoms and laboratory and imaging findings of children who met definitional criteria for PIMS-TS from the UK, the US, and World Health Organization.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Clinical, laboratory, and imaging characteristics of children meeting definitional criteria for PIMS-TS, and comparison with the characteristics of other pediatric inflammatory disorders.

Results  Fifty-eight children (median age, 9 years [interquartile range {IQR}, 5.7-14]; 33 girls [57%]) were identified who met the criteria for PIMS-TS. Results from SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction tests were positive in 15 of 58 patients (26%) and SARS-CoV-2 IgG test results were positive in 40 of 46 (87%). In total, 45 of 58 patients (78%) had evidence of current or prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. All children presented with fever and nonspecific symptoms, including vomiting (26/58 [45%]), abdominal pain (31/58 [53%]), and diarrhea (30/58 [52%]). Rash was present in 30 of 58 (52%), and conjunctival injection in 26 of 58 (45%) cases. Laboratory evaluation was consistent with marked inflammation, for example, C-reactive protein (229 mg/L [IQR, 156-338], assessed in 58 of 58) and ferritin (610 μg/L [IQR, 359-1280], assessed in 53 of 58). Of the 58 children, 29 developed shock (with biochemical evidence of myocardial dysfunction) and required inotropic support and fluid resuscitation (including 23/29 [79%] who received mechanical ventilation); 13 met the American Heart Association definition of KD, and 23 had fever and inflammation without features of shock or KD. Eight patients (14%) developed coronary artery dilatation or aneurysm. Comparison of PIMS-TS with KD and with KD shock syndrome showed differences in clinical and laboratory features, including older age (median age, 9 years [IQR, 5.7-14] vs 2.7 years [IQR, 1.4-4.7] and 3.8 years [IQR, 0.2-18], respectively), and greater elevation of inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein (median, 229 mg/L [IQR 156-338] vs 67 mg/L [IQR, 40-150 mg/L] and 193 mg/L [IQR, 83-237], respectively).

Conclusions and Relevance  In this case series of hospitalized children who met criteria for PIMS-TS, there was a wide spectrum of presenting signs and symptoms and disease severity, ranging from fever and inflammation to myocardial injury, shock, and development of coronary artery aneurysms. The comparison with patients with KD and KD shock syndrome provides insights into this syndrome, and suggests this disorder differs from other pediatric inflammatory entities.

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7

Jun, 2020

Pediatric critical care and COVID19

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COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV2, disproportionally affects adults (children <5% in most reports). Adult critical illness is characterized by acute hypoxemia, multi-organ failure, and high mortality. Reported risk factors for severe illness include age, cardiorespiratory comorbidities, obesity, and laboratory findings (lymphopenia and elevated D-dimer).

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7

Jun, 2020

Fulminant COVID 19 related myocarditis in an infant

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A 2-year-old, otherwise healthy boy with a history of COVID-19-positive patient contact was hospitalized with nausea, vomiting, and poor oral intake. Physical examination was normal. Chest X-ray (CXR) demonstrated bilateral interstitial infiltration. Investigations including acute phase reactants were in the normal range. Multiplex PCR for viruses was negative and no bacterial infection was found. Real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR) was negative for SARS-COV-2. He swiftly developed respiratory distress with filiform pulse, unmeasurable blood pressure, lethargy, and hepatomegaly on the second day, and was transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit, and promptly intubated. Acute phase reactants remained low with a 30 times elevated troponin T.

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7

Jun, 2020

Varying presentations of COVID-19 in young heart transplant recipients: a case series

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Background Immunosuppression is considered a risk factor for more severe clinical presentation of COVID-19. Limited data regarding clinical outcome exist in adults, whereas very little is known about the spectrum of the disease in pediatric heart transplant recipients.

Methods We retrospectively reviewed the charts of young heart transplant patients from our tertiary care center during the coronavirus pandemic in New York City and identified patients infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Results We present four cases with COVID-19 disease and elaborate on their presentation and clinical course.

Conclusions Although far from conclusive and limited by the small sample size and selection bias, these cases demonstrate mild and self-limited disease despite immunosuppressive therapy and various comorbidities that are expected to increase the severity of the clinical picture based on extrapolation from the adult experience with this novel disease.

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