Coronavirus disease 2019 in children

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Warawut Kriangburapa


In December 2019, there was an outbreak of a severe pneumonia caused from an unknown
virus in Wuhan, China. The virus was later identified to be a novel coronavirus namedSevere
Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), causing Coronavirus Disease 2019
(COVID-19). By April 2nd, 2020, COVID-19 had resulted in over 890,000 cases and over 45,000
deaths worldwide. The epidemiology and clinical characteristics of adults with COVID-19 has
been increasingly reported on. However, clinical data for children is still limited. This article
aims to review the clinical characteristics of children with COVID-19. The author reviewed
systematic literature on children with COVID-19 published from February-April in 2020. Children
have accounted for 1-5% of confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses. Among those cases, 91% of those
children have been exposed to a COVID-19 patient within their household or community.
The most common presentation of COVID-19 in children is pneumonia (40.9-64.9%), followed
byupper respiratory tract infections (19.3-43.1%). Additional indicators have been asymptomatic
(12.9 - 15.8%) as well ascritical cases (0.4%). The most common symptoms present at the onset
of illness were cough (44-65%) and fever (41.5-60%). CT chest scans revealedbilateral groundglass opacity (32.7-60%), local patchy shadowing (18.7%), bilateral patchy shadowing (12.3%)
andinterstitial abnormalities (1.2%).
COVID-19 tends to be less severe in children as compared with adults. The important message
from this finding is that children contribute to the rapid spreading of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Strategies to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in children must be recommended.


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