A new study published in JAMA suggests that prevention of both coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and seasonal influenza in US children is sensible and important for the well-being of the population.

The objective of the study was to describe the similarities and differences in clinical features between COVID-19 and seasonal influenza in US children. Children who were diagnosed with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 were analyzed between March 25 and May 15, 2020, whereas children diagnosed with seasonal influenza were analyzed between October 1, 2019, and June 6, 2020, at Children’s National Hospital in the District of Columbia, according to the study.

The study included 315 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and 1402 diagnosed with seasonal influenza. The results showed that patients with COVID-19 and those with seasonal influenza had a similar hospitalization rate, intensive care unit admission rate, and use of mechanical ventilators.

More patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19 than with seasonal influenza reported fever, diarrhea, or vomiting, headache, body ache or myalgia, and chest pain. Further, differences between patients hospitalized with COVID-19 versus influenza who reported cough and shortness of breath were not statistically significant.

The researchers concluded that there was no difference in hospitalization rates, intensive care unit admission rates, and mechanical ventilator use between the 2 groups. In addition, more patients hospitalized with COVID-19 reported clinical symptoms at the time of diagnosis than with seasonal influenza, according to the study.

Song X, Delaney M, Shah RK, Campos JM, Wessel DL, DeBiasi RL. Comparison of Clinical Features of COVID-19 vs Seasonal Influenza A and B in US Children. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(9):e2020495. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.20495.