The Epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in a Pediatric Healthcare Network in the United States.
Year of Publication
2020 Jun 19
<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>Understanding the prevalence and clinical presentation of COVID-19 in pediatric patients can help healthcare providers and systems prepare and respond to this emerging pandemic.</p>
<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>Retrospective case series of patients tested for SARS-CoV-2 across a pediatric healthcare network, including the clinical features and outcomes of those with positive test results.</p>
<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Of 7,256 unique children tested for SARS-CoV-2, 424 (5.8%) tested positive. Patients 18-21 years of age had the highest test positive rate (11.2%) while those 1-5 years of age had the lowest (3.9%). By race, 10.6% (226/2132) of Black children tested positive vs. 3.3% (117/3592) of White children. Of those with an indication for testing, 21.1% (371/1756) of patients with reported exposures or clinical symptoms tested positive vs. 3.8% (53/1410) of those undergoing pre-procedural or pre-admission testing. Of the 424 patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, 182 (42.9%) had no comorbid medical conditions, 87 (20.5%) had asthma, 55 (13.0% had obesity, and 38 (9.0%) had mental health disorders. Overall, 52.1% had cough, 51.2% fever, and 14.6% shortness of breath. Seventy-seven (18.2%) SARS-CoV-2 positive patients were hospitalized, of which 24 (31.2%) required any respiratory support. SARS-CoV-2-targeted antiviral therapy was given to 9 patients, and immunomodulatory therapy to 18 patients. Twelve (2.8%) SARS-CoV-2 positive patients developed critical illness requiring mechanical ventilation and 2 patients required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Two patients died.</p>
<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>In this large cohort of pediatric patients tested for SARS-CoV-2, the rate of infection was low, but varied by testing indication. The majority of cases were mild, few children had critical illness, and two patients died.</p>
J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc