Lack of Data on Pediatric Patients with SARS-CoV-2, Further Epidemiologic Studies Required

Article

Although data for adult patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been widely available, limited reports have been analyzed regarding pediatric patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, according to the study authors.

There are still a lack of data on pediatric patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and researchers recommend further epidemiologic and clinical studies to identify possible preventive and therapeutic strategies, according to a recent study from JAMA Pediatrics.

Although data for adult patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been widely available, limited reports have been analyzed regarding pediatric patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, according to the study authors.

An extensive search strategy was designed to retrieve all articles published from December 1, 2019, to March 3, 2020, by combining the terms “coronavirus” and “coronavirus infection” in several electronic databases. In addition, retrospective cross-sectional and case-control studies, case series and case reports, bulletins, and national reports about the pediatric SARS-CoV-2 infection were included. The risk of bias for eligible observational studies was assessed according to the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology reporting guideline.

The study authors identified a total of 815 articles, with 18 studies that included 1065 participants with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection included in the final analysis. Four hundred and forty-four patients were younger than 10 years of age, and 553 were aged 10 to 19 years.

Children at any age were mostly reported to have mild respiratory symptoms, mainly fever, dry cough, and fatigue, or were asymptomatic. The main radiologic features include bronchial thickening and ground-glass opacities, which was also shown in asymptomatic patients. There was only 1 case of severe COVID-19 infection, which occurred in a 13-month-old infant, and no deaths were reported in children up to 9 years of age.

This is the first systematic review that assesses and summarizes clinical features and management of children with SARS-CoV-2 infection, according to the study authors. The rapid spread of COVID-19 across the globe and lack of overall data require future clinical studies to further identify possible preventative and therapeutic strategies.

REFERENCE

Castagnoli R, Votto M, Licari A, et al. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Infection in Children and Adolescents. JAMA Pediatrics. Published April 22, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.1467. Accessed April 27, 2020.

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