18.05.2020 | COVID-19 | Review | Ausgabe 7/2020
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SARS-COV-2 infection in children and newborns: a systematic review
European Journal of Pediatrics
- Ilaria Liguoro, Chiara Pilotto, Margherita Bonanni, Maria Elena Ferrari, Anna Pusiol, Agostino Nocerino, Enrico Vidal, Paola Cogo
A recent outbreak of a novel Coronavirus responsible for a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) is spreading globally. The aim of this study was to systematically review main clinical characteristics and outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infections in pediatric age. An electronic search was conducted in PubMed database. Papers published between 1 January and 1 May 2020 including children aged 0–18 years were selected. Sixty-two studies and three reviews were included, with a total sample size of 7480 children (2428/4660 males, 52.1%; weighted mean age 7.6 years). Patients showed mainly mild (608/1432, 42.5%) and moderate (567/1432, 39.6%) signs of the infection. About 2% of children were admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit. The most commonly described symptoms were fever (51.6%) and cough (47.3%). Laboratory findings were often unremarkable. Children underwent a chest CT scan in 73.9% of all cases, and 32.7% resulted normal. Overall, the estimated mortality was 0.08%. A higher proportion of newborns was severely ill (12%) and dyspnea was the most common reported sign (40%).
: SARS-CoV-2 affects children less severely than adults. Laboratory and radiology findings are mainly nonspecific. Larger epidemiological and clinical cohort studies are needed to better understand possible implications of COVID-19 infection in children.
What is Known:
• A novel Coronavirus has been recently identified as responsible for a new Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) spreading globally.
• There is limited evidence on SARS-CoV2 infection in children.
What is New:
• Systematically reviewed available evidence showed that children with SARS-CoV-2 infection may have a less severe pattern of disease in comparison to adults.
• Blood tests and radiology findings are mainly nonspecific in children but may help to identify those who are severely ill.