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An evidence summary of Paediatric COVID-19 literature


This post is a rapid literature review of pertinent paediatric literature regarding COVID-19 disease. We are proud to have joined forces with the UK Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to provide systematic search, and selected reviews of all the COVID-19 literature relevant to children and young people.

Our search and review methods have changed as the pace and utility of the published literature has evolved over time. Our process involved a formal literature search (methods can be found here), followed by identification of all papers relevant to children/young people, then reading of every article by one of our team of doctors. Initially we produced a written review of all publications, however on April 17th 2020 we moved to a more selective review process. All articles were read in full, then if high enough quality, determined by consensus and involvement of a clinical academic, a written review was also produced.

As of June 30th 2020, we have again revised our process as the urgent need for rapid evidence synthesis has lessened, and the volume of research published remains extremely high, with much of it adding little to the current body of knowledge. Our search criteria has therefore narrowed, and of the articles identified as relevant, only those felt to be of exceptional quality or impact (as determined by consensus with involvement of a clinical academic) are selected for written review.

Our team of reviewers includes Alasdair Munro, Alison Boast, Henry Goldstein, Grace Leo, Dani Hall, Daniel Yeoh, Tessa Davis, Melody Redman, Sarah Sloan, Tricia Barlow, Anne Bean, Maeve Kelleher, Victoria Dachtler, Irnthu Premadeva, Lilian Nyirongo, Esther Alderson, Sunil Bhopal, Aimee Donald and Rachel Harwood.

Here we present the top 10 papers from each category (Paediatric clinical cases, Epidemiology and transmission, and Neonates). At the top is an Executive summary followed by all New and noteworthy studies.

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Executive Summary (Updated 21st January 2021)

New and Noteworthy (Updated 11 April 2021)

Top 10 Neonatal Papers

Top 10 Clinical Papers

Top Papers on Co-morbidities

Top 10 Epidemiological Papers on Transmission

Top Epidemiological Papers on Disease Burden

Top 10 PIMS-TS / MIS-C Papers


First authorLast authorJournalArticle titleDate of PublicationCountryRegion(n) childrenStudy typePaper linkReview
Parri, NBuonsenso, DNEJMChildren with Covid-19 in Pediatric Emergency Departments in Italy01 May 2020ItalyEurope100Clinical

This report is of confirmed COVID-19 infections in children under 18 years of age who presented to a research collaboration of 17 paediatric emergency departments in Italy between March 3rd and March 27th. The median age was 3.3 years and 57/100 were male. Children under 1 year were overrepresented (40%) followed by children >10yrs (24%).

Helpfully they categorise their patients according to criteria from Dong et. al (see review in Epidemiology top 10): Asymptomatic 21%, Mild 58%, Moderate 19%, Severe 1% and Critical 1%. Only 12% of patients appeared ill on assessment. Interestingly only 4% of patients had Oxygen saturations <94%. Only 38% of children needed admission for severity of illness. There were no deaths. The supplementary appendix includes a huge amount of detailed analysis of the cases, which are summarised below

Clinical features: Fever 54%, Cough 44%, Feeding difficulty 23%, Sore throat 4%, Rhinorrhoea 22%, Diarrhoea 9%, vomiting 10%.

Bloods: Largely unremarkable (although reports of lymphopenia unclear – state 14 patients lymphopenic but that this is 28%? – perhaps only 50 children had bloods, but this is not reported). Procalcitonin <0.5ng/L in 29/23 patients.

Radiology: Chest x-rays performed for 35 children, of which 14/35 had interstitial abnormalities, 6/35 consolidation and 1/35 pleural effusion: remaining 15/35 normal.

Comorbidities: There were 27/100 children with comorbidities – although it appears most had mild illness (did not require respiratory support). This included 6 with cystic fibrosis, 4 neurological, 4 haematological, 4 with a syndrome, 3 with prematurity, 2 with cardiac conditions, 2 immunological, 2 oncological and 1 metabolic disease.

Of the few patients who required respiratory support (9/100) a significant number had comorbidities (6/9), although the rage was broad. This included 2 children with “epileptic encephalopathy”, one of whom also had CHARGE syndrome, a child with autism, a child with a VSD, a child with propionic acidemia, and a child with thrombocytopenia and frequent respiratory infections.

One of the strengths of this study is comparisons across other studies of clinical features of COVID-19 in children. In comparison to Dong et al, CDC data and Lu et al, most features are broadly comparable. Some notable differences are a significantly larger number of infants in the Italian data (40% <1yr compared to 18% in Lu, 12% in Dong and 15.5% in CDC) and a slightly higher number of asymptomatic children (21% compared to 16% Lu, 13% Dong and 1.3% CDC). This most likely represents differences in which population cohorts presented for testing among the different studies – comparisons between cohorts is always difficult currently due to broad differences in the demoninators used. Notably there is no apparent difference in severity according to age in this Italian data, whereas CDC noted increased hospitalisation in children <1yr and Don’t et al noted higher rates of severe or critical illness in infants <1yr.

Broadly speaking this study confirms findings from China and the USA regarding significantly milder illness in children than adults with COVID-19, including many asymptomatic children. Note is made of overrepresentation of children with comorbidities in this cohort (similar to CDC data), although most of these still had mild illness - it is unclear if these children become more unwell, or are more likely to present to be tested.

Tsao, HFearon, DPediatrics Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) in a SARS-CoV-2 Positive Paediatric Patient. Pediatrics01 May 2020USANorth America1Clinical

A retrospective single case report was reported by Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Rhode Island, USA, highlighting an association between SARS-CoV-2 and immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) in children. The patient was co-positive with rhinovirus and enterovirus, previously described in children managed for SARS-CoV-2. A 10-year-old female patient was admitted for management of ITP after presenting with a petechial rash. 3 weeks prior she experienced 2 days of symptoms: cough and fever, following exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. She did not have a family history of haematological or autoimmune conditions, any medical problems or medications. A ‘respiratory panel’ was positive for rhinovirus and enterovirus and negative for coronavirus types 229E, HKU1, NL63, OC43. A Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction testing was positive for SARS-CoV-2.

Clinical features: Initial illness (3 weeks prior to ED presentation): fever, non-productive cough

Presentation to ED: petechial rash spreading from the legs to chest and neck, oral wet purpura, ecchymoses in the popliteal regions and shins.

Radiology: N/A

Bloods: At presentation: WCC 3.9 X 10^9/L (56% neutrophils, 38% lymphocytes) [Leukopenia without neutropenia or lymphopenia], haemoglobin 13.4 g/dL [normal], platelets 5 X 10^9/L [thrombocytopenia]. ANA borderline positive titers (1:40) in a speckled pattern which was considered not significant.

At 2 week follow up: WCC 6.1 X10^9/L [normal], Platelets 320 X 10^9/L [normal], ALT 56 IU/L [mildly raised], AST 28 IU/L [mildly raised].

Treatments: Intravenous immunoglobulin, paracetamol, and antihistamine to manage ITP.

Outcomes: Discharge from hospital after 1 day. Rash and oral lesions improved after 48 hours. Side effects were noted due to IVIG including headache, vomiting, abdominal pain.

At 2 week follow up platelet count was maintained, white cell count normalised and a mild transaminitis was noted.

Diorio, CTeachey, DBlood AdvancesEvidence of thrombotic microangiopathy in children with SARS-CoV-2 across the spectrum of clinical presentations.8 Dec 2020USANorth America50Clinical - Clinical Features

This study investigated a group of 50 hospitalised paediatric patients with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, classified into 3 groups (minimal COVID-19, severe COVID-19 and MIS-C), to assess whether these children met the clinical criteria for diagnosis of thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). TMA (endothelial cell damage to small blood vessels, leading to haemolytic anaemia, thrombocytopaenia and, in some cases, organ damage) has been associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in adults, causing thrombotic complications in severe COVID-19. A proposed mechanism for SARS-CoV-2-mediated TMA is via complement activation, which results in unregulated formation of the C5b9 membrane attack complex. An initial smaller study by these researchers of 20 of these paediatric patients (published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation on 30th July 2020), which compared clinical features and cytokines between the three groups, showed that soluble C5b9 (sC5b9), a biomarker of complement activation and TMA, may be elevated across the spectrum of manifestations of COVID-19.

Study design and population: From 3rd April to 7th July 2020, 112 patients admitted to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Pennsylvania, USA were prospectively screened with 58 enrolled; the analysis comprised the 50 patients for whom complete sC5b9 data were available. All had either a positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR from upper respiratory mucosa or a positive SARS-CoV-2 antibody test. Minimal COVID-19 (n=21/50, median age 13 yrs, IQR 5-17 yrs, range 2.5-23 yrs) was defined as those patients with an incidental finding of COVID-19 during routine testing before admission/procedure or those with mild COVID-19 symptoms not requiring respiratory support. All patients in the minimal group had comorbidities, including 5/21 sickle cell disease, 2/21 nephrotic syndrome, 2/21 B-ALL, T-ALL, medulloblastoma, osteosarcoma and asthma. Severe COVID-19 (n=11/50, median age 15 yrs, IQR 14-17 yrs, range 0.13-18 yrs) was defined as patients requiring new or escalation of respiratory support. All patients in the severe group had comorbidities, including 3/11 obesity, 2/11 prematurity, 3/11 hypopituitarism, HIE, hypertension, B-ALL and asthma. MIS-C (n=18/50, median age 9 yrs, IQR 7-13 yrs, range 5-17 yrs) was defined as per CDC criteria. All patients in the MIS-C group were previously healthy or had minimal comorbidities (2/18 asthma, 1/18 obesity, 12/18 previously healthy). All 21 (100%) of the minimal group and 18 (100%) of the MIS-C group were discharged. 2/11 (18%) of the severe group died and 2/11 (18%) remained hospitalised. A control group of discarded plasma samples from 26 otherwise healthy children who had been evaluated for symptoms of a bleeding disorder was obtained from the CHOP coagulation laboratory.

Data collection and criteria for thrombotic microangiopathy: Data collected from patient charts included demographic information, comorbid conditions and most extreme laboratory values from blood tests within the first 2 weeks of the positive SARS-CoV-2 test or admission for MIS-C (mostly within 48 hours of admission), plus assessment of 7 criteria for TMA (adapted from Gloude et al): raised LDH, schistocytes on blood smear, thrombocytopaenia, anaemia, proteinuria, hypertension and elevated sC5b9. The diagnosis of TMA was defined as 5 out of 7 of these criteria during the hospital admission for COVID-19 or MIS-C. A subsequent analysis used a simple set of clinical criteria (thrombocytopaenia, anaemia, schistocytes (fragmented red blood cells) and organ dysfunction) to define TMA in settings where more sophisticated diagnostics may be unavailable. Patients were assessed for renal dysfunction using the KDIGO (Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes) criteria: acute kidney injury (AKI) was defined as KDIGO stage 2 or higher.

sC5b9 levels: Median sC5b9 level in control subjects (57 ng/mL, IQR 9-163) was significantly lower than minimal COVID-19 (392 ng/mL, IQR 244-622), severe COVID-19 (646 ng/mL, IQR 203-728) and MIS-C (630 ng/mL, IQR 359-932) (p<0.001 in each case). There were no statistically significant differences between the 3 disease groups. One patient with concomitantly diagnosed SLE had highly elevated sC5b9 (1568 ng/mL), therefore the analysis was repeated excluding patients with comorbidities associated with complement dysfunction (lupus, cancer, sickle cell disease, renal disease or inflammatory disease): levels of sC5b9 remained elevated in the 3 disease groups compared to the control group (p<0.001). Analysis of correlations between sC5b9 and markers of inflammation, haemolysis and coagulopathy in patients with severe COVID-19 and MIS-C (there was a high proportion of missing data in the minimal group) showed no significant correlations with ferritin, CRP, LDH, PT, PTT, fibrinogen, D-dimer, AST, Hb or platelets. Levels of SARS-CoV-2 IgG, IgM and IgA did not significantly correlate with sC5b9 levels (testing the hypothesis that raised sC5b9 in SARS-CoV-2 could be related to classical pathway activation from antiviral antibody-antigen complexes, rather than the alternative pathway complement activation of TMA).

TMA findings: Of the 19/50 (38%) patients with complete clinical criteria available, 17/19 (89%) met criteria for diagnosis of TMA, comprising 2/2 (100%) minimal COVID-19 patients, 4/4 (100%) severe COVID-19 and 11/13 (85%) MIS-C. sC5b9 levels were elevated in patients who both did and did not meet criteria for TMA. Out of the total study group (31/50 (62%) had missing data, which was counted as negative), 24/50 (48%) met criteria for TMA, comprising 4/21 (19%) minimal COVID-19 patients, 9/11 (82%) severe COVID-19 and 11/18 (61%) MIS-C. A sensitivity analysis in which sC5b9 was not included in the criteria for TMA was performed (testing the hypothesis that sC5b9 elevations could be caused by an unknown pathophysiological process other than TMA in SARS-CoV-2 patients): 15/50 (30%) patients still met the criteria for TMA (5/6 or 6/6 criteria met), 9/50 (18%) were indeterminate (4/6 criteria met) and 26/50 (52%) did not meet the criteria (3/6 or less criteria met). For 34/50 patients with peripheral blood smears, 13/34 (38%) met simpler clinical criteria for TMA (microangiopathic haemolytic anaemia, thrombocytopaenia and evidence of organ damage). Schistocytes were present in 5/11 (45%) peripheral blood smears in the minimal group, 7/8 (87%) in the severe group and 13/15 (87%) in the MIS-C group.

Renal dysfunction: There was evidence of AKI in 2/21 (10%) of the minimal COVID-19 group, 4/11 (36%) of the severe COVID-19 group and 5/18 (28%) of the MIS-C group. Only 1 child (in the severe group) required dialysis. There were significantly higher plasma sC5b9 levels in those with AKI (717 ng/mL, IQR 404-1232) than in those without AKI (433 ng/mL, 232-706) (p=0.374). Elevations in sC5b9 correlated statistically significantly with creatinine, blood urea nitrogen and GFR, but not with age.

Levels of IL-8: IL-8 levels, a marker of endothelial dysfunction, were similar in MIS-C and severe COVID-19 patients; both were significantly higher than the minimal group. IL-8 didn’t correlate with sC5b9 levels.

Limitations identified by authors: The high incidence of TMA seen in patients with complete data is confounded by ascertainment bias, since some markers (e.g. LDH) are more frequently measured in sicker children (although even when the children with missing data were included, with missing values assumed to be negative, nearly half met criteria for TMA). The hospitalised children in the minimal COVID-19 group were, by definition, admitted because of other comorbidities, which could independently cause elevated sC5b9 (this group would ideally have been asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 children without comorbidities). The healthy control group were patients being investigated for a bleeding disorder, which the authors believe will not affect complement activation, but this group would also ideally have been without comorbidities.

Conclusions: In all 3 presentations of SARS-CoV-2 studied (minimal COVID-19, severe COVID-19 and MIS-C), the final common pathway of complement activation was seen. Interpretation of the group called “minimal COVID-19” is difficult, due to an extremely mixed cohort of children with supposedly mild disease who were still hospitalised due to their illness, or children hospitalised for a variety of other conditions which are likely to confound the results. IL-8 was elevated in severe COVID-19 and MIS-C compared to minimal COVID-19, implying more severe endothelial damage in the 2 more clinically severe groups. The majority of children with complete clinical and laboratory data measured met the criteria for thrombotic microangiopathy, as did most patients with acute kidney injury. Elevated sC5b9 correlated with renal dysfunction, but was independent of inflammatory markers. The short- and long-term implications of complement activation in children with SARS-CoV-2 are unclear. It is not possible to generalise the results of this study to children with minimal or no symptoms in the community.

Marlais, MTulus, KArchdischildCOVID-19 in children treated with immunosuppressive medication for kidney diseases21Dec2020worldwideInternationalClinical - Clinical Features

Introduction: Initial reports of COVID-19 from the Wuhan province showed significant differences in the outcomes between children and adult patients. In children, the reported mortality rates were far below 1% while for people above the age of 70 years it was 5% or higher. It also became clear that in adult patients a number of comorbidities contributed to a worse outcome.

Based on those early findings, many children taking immunosuppressive medication were advised to ‘shield’. As well as being demanding authors have cautioned against its indirect ‘side-effects’, both physical and psychological. It is therefore important to accurately define the group of people who are extremely vulnerable to severe disease if infected with SARS-CoV-2.

However, the impact of immunosuppression is yet to be determined in this group. The multinational authors’ study aimed to describe the clinical course of COVID-19 in children with kidney disease taking immunosuppressive medication and to assess their disease severity.

Methods: This was a voluntary-based survey on children with immunosuppressive treatment for kidney disease reported to be infected with SARS-CoV-2. It was hosted by the European Rare Kidney Disease Reference Network and supported by the European, Asian and International paediatric nephrology societies. The members of these societies and the members of the PedNeph listserver were asked to include any child in their care fulfilling the inclusion criteria.

Inclusion criteria were all children (<20 years and under paediatric services) who have an underlying kidney disease and take immunosuppressive medication, with a diagnosis of COVID-19 (either laboratory confirmation with PCR or serology testing, or clinically highly suspected). The study was open for 16 weeks from 15 March 2020 to 05 July 2020 and included 8 separate reminders sent electronically to the memberships of the above organisations. Anonymised data were collected through an online platform including details of demographics, underlying kidney conditions, comorbidities and current immunosuppressive medication. Their symptoms at presentation were recorded, along with the method of COVID-19 diagnosis (laboratory or clinical). The severity and outcome of their COVID-19 was also reported.

Results : 113 children were reported in this study from 30 different countries. 104 cases were confirmed as COVID-19 by PCR or antibody testing, the remaining 9 being clinically suspected. The median age of the participants was 13 years (49% were male). The main underlying reasons for immunosuppressive therapy were: kidney transplant (47%), nephrotic syndrome (27%), systemic lupus erythematosus (10%). Patients’ immunosuppressive medications included: glucocorticoids (76%), Mycophenolate Mofetil (MMF) (54%), Tacrolimus/ciclosporine A (58%), Rituximab/Ofatumumab (11%). Mean duration of immunosuppressive therapy prior to study was 9.5 months (IQR 3-39 months).

78% of the patients required no respiratory support during COVID-19 illness, 5% required bi-level positive airway pressure or ventilation. Four children died; all deaths reported were from low-income countries (3 India, 1 South America) with associated comorbidities. There was no significant difference in severity of COVID-19 based on gender, dialysis status, underlying kidney condition, and type or number of immunosuppressive medications. There was a difference in the severity of the disease with older children tending to have more severe disease but this did not reach statistical significance. No children developed PIMS-TS in this study.


The authors’ global study shows most children with a kidney disease taking immunosuppressive medication have mild disease with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

They suggest that children on immunosuppressive therapy should not be more strictly isolated than children who are not on immunosuppressive therapy.

They find no evidence of any association between immunosuppressive medication number and the severity of COVID-19 in children.

They suggest children who are in the first few months immediately post-transplant may need some stricter social distancing measures (as were in place for many centres prior to COVID-19) as published data in this small subgroup are still limited.

Melé, MLaunes, CjinfLow Impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection among Paediatric Acute Respiratory Disease Hospitalisations21.10.20202SpainEurope110Clinical - Clinical Features

Observational study of children admitted to a Barcelona hospital with acute lower respiratory disease (ALRD) during the first pandemic peak (mid-March to mid-May), comparing those who were SARS-CoV-2 (+) to those who were SARS-CoV-2(-).

Key points

• 125 children with ALRD admitted, 110 consented to be in study

• Only 7 (6%) were SARS-CoV-2 (+)

• SARS-CoV-2 (+) children’s median age was 16.9y: the median for the SARS-CoV-2(-) children was 3.7y

• Co-morbidities: in 2 of the SARS-CoV-2 (+) (1 leukaemia, 1 obesity): in SARS-CoV-2(-) 44% had pre-existing respiratory issues and 13% neurological

• No significant differences were found in the clinical presentation of the 2 groups

• SARS-CoV-2 (+) group had significantly lower WBCs and platelets

• The SARS-CoV-2 (+) child with leukaemia had graft-versus-host and a co-infection with Influenza B and unfortunately died

The children were tested for SARS-CoV-2 when presenting at the hospital. In the 9-week period of the study, 960 children with fever &/or respiratory symptoms were seen and tested and only 56 (6%) were SARS-CoV-2 (+). The authors have then looked at detail at those children requiring admission with ALRD.

Bolanos-Almeida, CSegura, OPIDJ Clinical and epidemiological analysis of COVID-19 children cases in colombia PEDIACOVID20/10/20Colombia South America 5062Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a retrospective study of 5062 children <18 years of age (until June 2016) who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and were reported to the National Institute of Health in Colombia. This cohort represented 9.2% of total cases in Colombia.

Cases were classified as symptomatic, asymptomatic, mild, moderate or severe. All children admitted to hospital with clinical or laboratory features of SARS-CoV-2 (eg. changes on chest imaging, elevated inflammatory markers, lymphopaenia) and who were characterised as an at risk or vulnerable population were classified as severe.

Majority of cases were mild (79.4%) or asymptomatic (16.8%). Overall, only 26 children required admission to intensive care (ICU) (0.51%) and 146 hospital admission (2.88%). There was a reported case fatality rate of 1.59 per 1000. Younger children were more likely to have more severe disease requiring hospital or ICU admission.

This retrospective study is the largest published cohort of children from South America and is consistent with findings from other geographical regions.

Goss, MGoss, JPaediatric TransplantationThe pediatric solid organ transplant experience with COVID‐19: An initial multi‐center, multi‐organ case series18 Sept 2020United StatesNorth America26Clinical - Clinical Features

Five transplant centres in the United States report the outcome of 26 children ≤ 18 years of age (range 5-18 years) 16 of whom were male who developed Covid 19 between 1st April and 20th July 2020. Six were heart recipients, 8 kidney, 10 liver, and 2 lung.

The 26 COVID‐19‐positive transplant recipients had variable clinical presentations. The most common symptom was cough (n=12 (46%)) followed by fever (n=9 (35%)), dry/sore throat (n=3 (12%)), rhinorrhoea (n=3 (12%)), anosmia (n=2 (8%)), chest pain (n=2 (8%)), diarrhoea (n=2 (8%)), and dyspnoea and headache in 1 patient each (4%). Six patients (23%) did not have any symptoms (4 kidney, 1 liver, and 1 lung recipients). Eight (31%) were hospitalized, 3 of whom were already admitted for unrelated problems. None required supplemental oxygen. All patients with COVID‐19 symptoms at the time of diagnosis recovered with full resolution of symptoms within a median of 3 days. No patient experienced progressive deterioration or death.

Only two children required reduction in their post-transplant immunosuppression.

The authors conclude “Our multi-institutional experience suggests the prognosis of paediatric transplant recipients infected with COVID-19 may mirror those of immunocompetent children, with infrequent hospitalization and minimal treatment, if any, required”

Rekhtman, SGarg, AJ Am Acad DermatolMucocutaneous disease and related clinical characteristics in hospitalized children and adolescents with COVID-19 and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children18 Dec 2020USANorth America31Clinical - Clinical Features

This cohort study describes the mucocutaneous features of COVID-19 and MIS-C patients hospitalised in a tertiary children’s hospital in New York. Sample size was small, but the authors observed a trend towards milder disease in those patients with rash and/or mucositis.

All patients aged 18 years or younger, admitted between 11 May and 5 June 2020 to the Cohen Children’s Hospital New York, with a diagnosis of COVID-19 or MIS-C, were included. Diagnostic criteria for MIS-C included: clinically severe illness, multisystem involvement, positive for SARS-CoV-2 on PCR/serology or exposure to positive COVID-19 case, and no alternative diagnosis. All patients in the COVID-19 group were SARS-CoV-2 PCR positive. There were 31 patients in total, 12 with COVID-19 and 19 with MIS-C. 61% of patients were male (50% of the COVID-19 group and 68% of the MIS-C group). Median age of COVID-19 patients with mucocutaneous disease was 5 years (1.75, 10) and without was 10 years (7.25, 16). Median age of MIS-C patients with mucocutaneous disease was 8 years (7, 10) and without was 10.5 years (10, 13).

Mucocutaneous features in COVID-19 group: 33% of the COVID-19 patients had a rash and/or mucositis. The rashes observed were non-specific erythema and morbilliform. The mucositis seen was limited to lip cracking. There was a trend towards younger age and milder disease in patients with mucocutaneous features compared to those without.

Mucocutaneous features in MIS-C group: 47% of MIS-C patients had a rash and/or mucositis. The pattern of rash seen was heterogenous including non-specific erythema, urticarial, purpuric and oedematous. Mucositis included lip cracking, tongue papillitis and conjunctivitis. As with the COVID-19 group, there was a trend towards milder disease in those MIS-C patients with mucocutaneous features compared to those without.

Discussion: This descriptive study is a useful addition to the literature, providing information on the prevalence of mucocutaneous disease amongst COVID-19 and MIS-C patients, as well as its morphologic pattern and distribution. The observed trend towards milder disease in those patients with mucocutaneous features is interesting and raises the question of whether this could be a prognostic indicator. The sample size is too small to draw any firm conclusions, but the study provides a good basis for further research.

Ludvigsson, JLudvigsson, JActa PaediatrCase report and systematic review suggest that children may experience similar long-term effects to adults after clinical COVID-1917/11/20Sweden Europe5Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a case report and systematic review of long-term symptoms experienced by children following acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. Although there are a number of reports of persistent symptoms in adults, this is the first systematic review of the currently available paediatric data. Long-term or persistent symptoms were defined as those lasting over 2 months from the onset of symptoms.

The case report is of 5 Swedish children identified by personal contact of their parent with the author of the manuscript. The 5 children had a median age of 12 years (range 9-15 years) and 4 were female. All were clinically diagnosed with COVID-19 without PCR confirmation and were managed conservatively, without hospitalisation. Subsequent SARS-CoV-2 serology in 4 of the 5 children was also negative. Symptoms reported by the child and/or parent most commonly included fatigue, dyspnoea, heart palpitations, dyspnoea, headaches, poor concentration, muscle weakness, dizziness and sore throat. Symptoms remain persistent 6-8 months following acute illness and none of the children have returned to school (at the time of manuscript publication).

The systematic review identified 19 articles which were relevant, however none contained further information on persistent symptoms following SARS-CoV-2 infection in children.

Although there is growing concern about persistent symptoms following acute COVID-19 infection in adults, there remains a paucity of data on children. This case report is limited by lack of PCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and selection bias. Future prospective research is required in both adults and children with a well-defined case definition to better delineate the long-term effects of SARS-CoV2.

Dannan, HRamsi, MBMJClinical course of COVID-19 among immunocompromised children a clinical case series15 Oct 2020United Arab EmiratesMiddle East5Clinical - Clinical Features

A case series of five immunocompromised children 2 boys 3 girls, aged 3-12 years from the United Arab Emirates who developed Covid-19 during 2020. They either had mild symptoms or were asymptomatic. They all had a benign course of their illness. None needed a change in their treatment regime nor had a relapse of their underlying condition. The children had prolonged duration of virus shedding post Covid 19 infection. The authors conclude “immunocompromised paediatric patients may not be at a higher risk of developing severe Covid-19.”

Kumar, LPandey, A.K Int J Pediatr OtorhinolaryngolLoss of smell and taste in COVID-19 infection in adolescents13/01/2021IndiaAsia141Clinical - Clinical Features

This prospective study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of olfactory and taste dysfunction (OTD) in adolescents with mild-moderate COVID-19 who presented to a hospital in India between May and August 2020. The inclusion criteria was adolescents, aged 10–19 years, who presented to ESIC Medical College and Hospital in Faridabad with “influenza like illness (ILI)” and were detected COVID-19 positive by RT-PCR. These patients were followed up by telephone or ENT clinic consultation and the clinical course and outcomes of their OTD were documented. All the symptoms were self reported by the patients. Exclusion criteria included patients with severe COVID-19 disease, psychiatric or neurological disorders or those with existing conditions affecting their taste and smell.

Age/gender: 141 patients were included in the study, 58.9% were male and 41.1% were females. The age varied from 10 to 19 years with an average of 15.2 years.

Clinical features: 40 (28.4%) of the 141 patients in the study had olfactory or taste dysfunction. Of these 40 patients, 24.1% had olfactory dysfunction, 24.1% had an alteration in taste and 19.8% complained of both. Other common symptoms recorded by the patients were fever (48.2%), cough (20.6%), sore throat (19.9%) and malaise (14.2%). OTD was the first noted symptom in 13.9% of the patients. The duration of OTD varied from 2 to 15 days with an average of 5.7 days. There was no significant difference in OTD in different age groups or genders. All the patients reported complete recovery of their smell and taste sensations.

Conclusion: Olfactory and taste dysfunction is known to be a common presenting feature in adult patients with COVID-19. This prospective study in India shows a prevalence of OTD in 28.4% of COVID-19 adolescent patients. It concludes that the identification of OTD in the adolescent population may help in early diagnosis and reduced transmission of COVID-19 infection. Note is made of the limitations of the study including a lack of objective tools in evaluating olfactory and taste dysfunction (these were self-reported). Secondly, the study was limited to patients presenting to hospital with mild-moderate COVID-19 infection; a further study looking at the prevalence of OTD in well children found to be COVID-19 positive via community testing may be of use.

Millen, GKearns, PBr J CancerSeverity of COVID-19 in children with cancer: Report from the United Kingdom Paediatric Coronavirus Cancer Monitoring Project10 Dec 2020United KingdomEurope54Clinical - Clinical Features

BACKGROUND: Data from adults with cancer suggests that they have an increased risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 and develop a more severe COVID-19 illness.

AIM: To document the incidence and outcomes from SARS-CoV-2 infection in children with cancer attending all hospitals treating this population across the UK.

METHODS: Data were collected on children under 16 years of age with a diagnosis of cancer who were receiving hospital-based care who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 from 12th March 2020 until 31st July 2020. Cases were confirmed by RT-PCR to SARS-CoV-2.

Prospective data collection started on 7 April 2020. The data were gathered as part of the UK Paediatric Coronavirus Cancer Monitoring Project, set up to record the effects of COVID-19 in children with cancer attending the 20 hospitals designated as the Principal Treatment Centres (PTCs) for the care of children with cancer in the UK. Paediatric Oncology Shared Care Units (POSCUs) linked to PTCs were encouraged to submit data. Children who had received an allogeneic stem cell transplant were excluded as data on this group of patients were being separately collected.

RESULTS: 54 children tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 during the data collection period and had complete datasets submitted. 98% of all patients had minimum of 4 weeks of follow-up data from their initial positive test result.

29 boys and 25 girls were affected with a median age of 5 years 0 months (range 10 months to 15 years, 9 months). 44% had a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). 33% of children were from a black or minority ethnic background (BAME), who form 9% of the incidence of children with cancer in the UK.

Severity of illness: 49 of the 54 (91%) had mild (34) or asymptomatic (15) infections. The illness in one was moderate, in another was severe and in 3 was critical. All recovered. The cancer diagnosis in the 5 patients with moderate to critical illness were a mixture of haematological cancers and solid tumours. 87% of all symptomatic patients presented with fever while 62% had either cough or coryzal symptoms at presentation. 10% had gastrointestinal symptoms at presentation.

13 were hospitalised because of COVID-19, others 27 were in hospital for unrelated reasons, 14 were not hospitalised.

Treatment data were available for 38/54 patients (70%): 21% were receiving very myelosuppressive chemotherapy (either induction/delayed intensification chemotherapy for ALL or chemotherapy for AML). 29% were receiving less intensive chemotherapy. The remaining 50% were receiving a range of other more standard chemotherapy regimens. 26% were receiving targeted or immune therapy with or without conventional chemotherapy. None had received high dose chemotherapy within the 28 days preceding their positive SARS-CoV-2 result. The patients with moderate to critical infections were receiving oncological treatment of assorted intensities. One patient died of progressive cancer.

CONCLUSIONS: The authors of this study, carried out across all UK paediatric oncology centres, concluded that children with cancer who contract COVID-19 are not at any more risk of serious infection than children in the general population. These results are in keeping with emerging international reports. There was no trend of more serious infection in those receiving more intensive therapies. The limitations are that the numbers are small, that there was no consistent testing policy during the period of data collection, there is likely underestimation of children who have been asymptomatic or had mild symptoms. There also limitations derived from the limited sensitivity of the PCR test. The data presented are from children with a complete data set (apart from type of oncological treatment) and it is not known what proportion they make up out of all children with SARS-CoV-2 under hospital oncological care. These limitations, however, are unlikely to weaken the overall finding that children with ongoing cancer treatment are not at risk of a more severe COVID-19 illness. As a result, some of the more stringent shielding recommendations for this group of patients have been eased.

Foster, CCampbell, JRjpidsA Surge in Pediatric Coronavirus Disease 2019 Cases: The Experience of Texas Children's Hospital from March to June 202010 Dec 2020USANorth America1215Clinical - Clinical Features

Methods: The Authors performed a retrospective chart review of all children, ≤ 21 years of age, presenting to the Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) system in the greater Houston area, Texas with testing for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) from March 10, 2020 to June 28, 2020. The children either presented to TCH or the community hospitals or clinics within the TCH system. Demographics were recorded for all patients undergoing testing and clinical characteristics and outcomes were recorded for children with positive tests. Data was sourced from charts, notes and Epic (the common electronic health record for the TCH system)

Results: Of 16,554 unique patients who were tested for SARS-CoV-2, 1215 (7.3%) patients tested positive. Infants under 1 year of age and patients aged 18-21 years had the highest percent of positive tests at 9.9% (230/2329) and 10.7% (79/739), respectively.

Children aged 1-5 years had the lowest percent of positive tests (335/5842, 5.7%). Fifty-one percent of patients with positive tests were male

Hispanic children accounted for 66% (802/1215) of positive tests, though they only represented 42.1% (6972/16554) of all children tested for SARS-CoV-2.

Of the 1215 children with a positive test, 55.7% had fever, 40.9% had cough, 39.8% had congestion or rhinorrhea, 21.9% had gastrointestinal complaints, and 15.9% were asymptomatic. Only 97 (8%) patients were hospitalized (of which 68% were Hispanic). Most patients (89/97, 91.8%) were admitted within 1 day of the collection date of the SARS-CoV-2 positive test

Most hospitalized patients had underlying medical conditions (62/97, 63.9%), including obesity.

Gastrointestinal complaints were present in 21.9% (266/1215) of patients. Almost 16% of children were asymptomatic (193/1215). Most children (90.8%) had no chest imaging.

Forty (41.2%) patients were admitted for a non-COVID-19 diagnosis including 12 (12.4%) patients admitted with acute appendicitis

Thirty-one hospitalized patients (31/97, 32%) required respiratory support and nine patients (9/97, 9.3%) received SARS-CoV-2 antiviral therapy. Two patients died. One patient had underlying congenital heart disease and developed acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to COVID-19. The other patient expired from complications related to a new oncologic diagnosis.

Conclusions: A relatively high percentage of Hispanic children tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and were hospitalized. Most children with detection of SARS-CoV-2 had uncomplicated illness courses, some children were critically ill, and two patients died.

The authors found that a relatively low percentage of patients with SARS-CoV-2 were hospitalized (97/1215, 8%) and furthermore over 40% of the admitted patients had a primary diagnosis other than COVID-19. Interestingly, 12 patients were hospitalized with acute appendicitis. They note there are case reports detailing clinical presentations of COVID-19 mimicking appendicitis. Appendicitis is the most common pediatric surgical diagnosis, however, and the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 and appendicitis remains unclear and warrants further investigation. Both pediatric and adult reports have found lymphopenia to be a common laboratory finding in patients with COVID-19, though this finding was only present in 30.7% of the study’s patients.

Alfraij, AAlghounaim, MJ Infect Public HealCharacteristics and outcomes of coronavirus disease2019 (COVID-19) in critically ill paediatric patients admitted to the intensive care unit: a multi-center retrospective cohort study.10 12 2020Kuwait/Saudi ArabiaMiddle East25Clinical - Clinical Features

This study was done in 8 paediatric centres (providing services to 12 million people) across Kuwait and Saudi Arabia from 1st March to 1st August 2021. The aim of the study was to better understand the dynamics of critical COVID-19, improve the quality of care and evaluate predictors of mortality and intubation.

From records, 43 children were identified as being admitted to ICU with positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR done on respiratory samples. 18 of these children were excluded (9 with confirmed MIS-C, 7 with asymptomatic infections identified when children admitted to ICU for other reasons, and 2 duplicate entries) leaving a study cohort of 25 children. 4 of these children died.

The authors have gathered a mass of demographic, clinical, laboratory and radiological data which is presented in tables. However, there are few findings that reach statistical significance. Interesting findings are:

Median age 2.78y

Only 3 patients were previously healthy before ICU admission

22 children were admitted to ICU because of respiratory failure, 2 for neurological compromise and 5 because of circulatory compromise

Death was significantly associated with thrombocytopaenia and circulatory collapse at time of admission: elevated procalcitonin and comorbidities were also associated with fatal outcome

Malhotra, AGaur, SPediatr Infect Dis JPediatric COVID-19 and Appendicitis: A Gut Reaction to SARS-CoV-208 Dec 2020United StatesNorth America48Clinical - Clinical Features

This study collected data on all SARS-CoV-2 positive patients admitted to a tertiary children’s hospital in New Jersey, USA during the first wave of infection, as well as on patients admitted with appendicitis. They report a temporal association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and appendicitis and suggest that is may represent another post-infectious manifestation.

Cohort demographics: Inclusion criteria were all patients admitted to the children’s hospital between 29 March and 26 July 2020 with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, either by PCR or antibody testing. During this time, the hospital was admitting patients up to the age of 25 years, so this study included some patients not generally considered paediatric. There were 48 admissions, but 7 patients were excluded at the outset as they were asymptomatic. Of the remaining 41 patients, 18 were female (44%) and the median age was 9 (IQR 0.2, 17). The majority of patients were of Hispanic ethnicity (51%), with 22% black, 17% white and 10% ‘other’.

Results: The authors divided patients into 4 diagnostic categories for comparison: Pneumonia (16 patients); MIS-C (10 patients); Appendicitis (10 patients); and ‘Unconventional’ (5 patients) (defined as having symptoms and signs consistent with SARS-CoV-2 but not fitting into the other 3 categories).

The ‘Unconventional’ patients were significantly younger than patients in the other categories (median age 2 years, IQR 0.2-1.5 years). This category of patients was not included in further analysis, beyond comparison of demographic features.

Of the pneumonia patients, 94% were PCR positive and 6% (1 patient) antibody positive. This compared to 60% of MIS-C patients being antibody positive, 30% being PCR positive and 10% being both PCR and antibody positive. The appendicitis patients showed a similar pattern to the pneumonia patients, with 70% PCR positive, 20% antibody positive and 10% positive on both tests. The authors include a nice figure showing weekly admissions patterns during the study period. The shows the majority of the Pneumonia cases occurring during the first half of the study period, and correlating with the peak in SARS-CoV-2 infections in the region, whereas the MIS-C and Appendicitis cases predominated in the latter 2/3 of the study period.

The authors present data on a number of features such as severity, duration of fever, and inflammatory markers for their 3 main diagnostic categories (Pneumonia, MIS-C and Appendicitis), and these are consistent with what is already known. However, of particular interest in this study is the analysis of appendicitis in the context of SARS-CoV-2, and comparison with appendicitis patients without co-existing SARS infection. Although not statistically significant, there was the suggestion of an ethnic bias in the patients with appendicitis and SARS - 90% were Hispanic, compared to only 45% Hispanic the non-SARS infected appendicitis patients. There was also a trend to more severe disease in the SARS-infected appendicitis patients, with a 50% appendiceal rupture rate in this group compared to only 36% rupture rate in the non-SARS group.

Discussion: This study adds to the body of evidence on clinical features of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and adds some interesting data on appendicitis in the context of SARS. The authors highlight the similarity of the temporal relationship they found between appendicitis and MIS-C in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients and suggest this may represent another post-infectious manifestation. Unfortunately, the data is not fully supportive of this conclusion as 70% of their appendicitis patients were PCR positive, consistent with current SARS-CoV-2 infection (unlike the MIS-C patients, who were, as expected, mostly antibody positive). What we also don’t know from this study is how the pattern of appendicitis presentations compares to normal (i.e. non-COVID) years and whether there is any difference.

Although it’s not possible to draw any firm conclusions from the data presented, this paper raises a number of interesting questions with respect to appendicitis and SARS-CoV-2 infection. Further studies into a possible correlation would be valuable.

Mizrahi, BSegal, ENat. CommunLongitudinal symptom dynamics of COVID-19 infection04 12 2020IsraelEurope862Clinical - Clinical Features

In this study from Israel, data from electronic health records (EHR) from primary care visits to Maccabi Health Services 9MHS) was combined with longitudinal voluntary nationwide survey data on self-reported symptoms to explore the symptom dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Data on SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing was extracted from the EHR along with symptoms according to ICD-9 codes as documented by the primary care physician. Adults, but not children, were invited to participate in the nationwide survey via text or email to all members of MHS. Data from March 1st to June 7th, 2020 were analysed.

Data on symptoms was available for 206,377 individuals of whom 2471 had a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR. For adults, there was relatively poor agreement between symptom report from survey and EHR data; most symptoms were more likely to be self-reported than recorded in the EHR. In SARS-CoV-2 positive adults, cough (11.6%), fever (10.3%), myalgia (7.7%) and fatigue (5.9%) were the most prevalent symptoms recorded in the EHR. Cough (21%), fatigue (19%, rhinorrhoea (17%), and headache (16%) were the most common self-reported symptoms. Loss taste of smell was self-reported in 10% of SARS-CoV-2 positive adults and was significantly associated with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (OR 11.18, 95% CI 6.43-19.44) - this was the most discriminatory symptom for diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2.

Of 21,567 children included in the analysis, 862 (4%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2 on PCR. From EHR data, a smaller proportion of children had symptoms documented compared with adults. Fever (7%), cough (5.5%), abdominal pain (2.4%) and fatigue (2.3%) were the most prevalent symptoms amongst SARS-CoV-2 positive children. Most other symptoms were rarely documented (<1% of SARS-CoV-2 positive children); only 0.2% of children had documented loss of smell or taste. No individual symptom had a statistically significant association with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in children. Fever (OR 0.3) and cough (OR 0.4) were in fact negatively associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, likely due to the prevalence of other common paediatric infectious diseases resulting in primary care presentation during the study period.

Duration of illness, calculated from first positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR to a second consecutive negative PCR, was significantly shorter in children compared with adults in a Cox regression analysis (HR 1.18 95% CI 1.01-1.39).

The paediatric data in this study is limited by the reliance on EHR documentation of symptoms and the translation of this documentaion into ICD-9 codes. Thus, the reported proportions of SARS-CoV-2 positive children with each symptom are likely underestimates, as was evident in the discrepancy between the EHR and self-reported symptoms in adults. Nonetheless, the EHR data is consistent with the accumulating body of evidence that children experience a milder course of SARS-CoV-2 infection with fewer symptoms compared with adults. In addition, based on PCR data, children in this study appeared to experience a shorter duration of illness compared with adults.

Bain, RBrodie,MJournal of Cystic FibrosisClinical characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children with cystic fibrosis: An international observational study.03 December 2020Multinational 13 CountriesInternational105Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a particularly important multinational study for the Cystic Fibrosis community. The authors describe 105 children, age 0-18years (median 10), 54% male, 41% homozygous for F508del CFTR mutation, from 13 countries in N and S America, S Africa, Europe, and Russia who had Sars-COV-2 between 1 February 2020 and 7 August 2020. The diagnosis of COVID 19 was made by a positive PCR test in 95 children.

Twenty nine percent of the children were asymptomatic. Of those with symptoms 73% had a fever, 38% altered cough, 30% dyspnoea, 23% gastrointestinal symptoms and 19% myalgia. The majority (71%) were managed in the community, and only one child needed intensive care. The children who were hospitalised had lower lung function and body mass index z-scores compared to those treated in the community. Of all the children 29% required new supplemental oxygen and about 1/3 had additional oral antibiotics and another 1/3 intravenous antibiotics. Fourteen percent of children had experimental antiviral therapy.

No child required ECMO and two children needed none invasive ventilation. No deaths very associated directly with COVID 19 though one child died 6 weeks after testing positive, but this was deemed to be due to worsening underlying cystic fibrosis.

What would have been interesting but has not been documented in the study would be a comparison of ppFEV1 prior to and after COVID 19 infection.

The authors conclude “SARS-CoV-2 infection in children with CF is usually associated with a mild illness in those who do not have a pre-existing severe lung disease.”

Hizal, MCeyhan, M Pediatr PulmonolDiagnostic Value of Lung Ultrasonography in Children with COVID-1921 Oct 2020TurkeyEurope and Asia40Clinical - Clinical Features

This prospective multi-centre study was performed between April and May 2020 at four tertiary paediatric hospitals in Turkey. 40 children up to 18 years of age with confirmed COVID-19, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, had lung ultrasound performed compared to their other chest imaging (x-ray and/or CT) performed at the discretion of their treating clinician.

To minimise bias, bedside point of care lung ultrasounds were performed by a paediatric respiratory physician (‘pulmonologist’) blinded to the child’s symptoms and imaging findings. The ultrasound recordings were independently reviewed by a pulmonologist and radiologist, and when their findings were discrepant, they agreed in consultation on the findings. Chest x-rays and CTs were requested by the child’s treating physicians who were blinded to the lung ultrasound findings and were reported by an ‘experienced’ radiologist blinded to the lung ultrasound findings and clinical presentation. Lung ultrasound findings considered normal included: multiple horizontal A-lines and normal sliding. The presence of three or more B-lines (comet-tail artefacts, representing interstitial syndrome), or confluent B-lines was considered abnormal.

Of the 40 children, median age was 10.5 years with an age range of 0.4 to 17.8 years. Five (12.5%) were under 2 years and 12 (30%) were under 5 years.

All 40 children had both chest x-ray and lung ultrasound performed. Four children (10%) had abnormal chest x-rays with consolidation, lung opacity and pleural effusion.

Twenty-eight (70%) of the children had a chest CT, 12 (43%) of which were abnormal. Bilateral ground glass opacification and consolidation were the most frequent abnormalities seen on CT, mostly in the posterior and lower lung zones.

Lung ultrasound took between 4 and 10 minutes to perform. Eleven (27.5%) of the ultrasounds were abnormal.

Of the 12 children with abnormal CT scans, lung ultrasound was also abnormal for 10 (83.3%). Of the 10 children with abnormal ultrasound and CT, 7 (70%) had normal chest x-rays. Of the two children with abnormal CT but normal ultrasound, the lesions seen on CT were under 1cm in size.

Of the 16 children with normal CTs, ultrasound was also normal in 15 (93.8%).

All 12 children who did not have a CT had normal ultrasounds.

The two most unwell children had abnormal findings on CT, chest x-ray and ultrasound imaging.

Using CT as a standard for ‘disease positive’, ultrasound was found to have the following sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive values:

CT positive CT negative

Lung US positive 10 1 PPV = 10/11 = 90.9%

Lung US negative 2 15 NPV = 15/17 = 88.2%


= 10/12 = 83.3% Specificity

= 15/16 = 93.8%

The authors conducted further statistical analysis, including area under the ROC curve and confidence intervals. Confidence intervals were universally wide. The authors compared sensitivity and area under the curve for chest x-ray and lung ultrasound; these were statistically different (McNemar's test: p-value 0.016 and 0.001 respectively). Compared to CT, chest x-rays were falsely negative in 75%, while lung ultrasound was falsely negative in 16.7%.

The authors concluded that although bedside point of care lung ultrasound is not as sensitive as CT, it is still useful in the diagnostic work-up of COVID-19 in children with the undisputable advantage of reducing radiation exposure, minimising nosocomial spread of COVID-19 to other patients and staff by minimising movement around the hospital, and by using easily to disinfect portable ultrasound probe and mobile phone, which can be wrapped in cling film to further minimise contamination.

This study does have several limitations, particularly in that it was a small study, with no control group. The sensitivities, specificities, PPV and NPV have wide confidence intervals (detailed in the paper). A selection bias is also very possible as sicker children are more likely to have been more extensively investigated: some asymptomatic or only minimally symptomatic children did not have CT imaging (although the authors rightly point out that it would have been unethical to have performed CT chests on children in whom their primary clinician didn’t feel it was indicated). And, although portable probes and mobile phones are beneficial from an infection control perspective, the authors say that the image quality may have been compromised.

So what’s the study bottom line? This paper adds to the evidence that although not as sensitive as CT, lung ultrasound is a viable imaging modality in the investigation of COVID-19 in children, with fewer false negatives than x-ray and the benefit of not exposing children to ionizing radiation.

Freeman, MCWheeler, SEJ Pediatric Infect Dis SocImmunocompromised Seroprevalence and Course of Illness of SARS-CoV-2 in One Pediatric Quaternary Care Center01 Oct 2020USANorth America485Clinical - Clinical Features

Study of seroprevalence in 485 immunocompromised children at a paediatric quaternary centre in Pittsburgh, USA, between March and July 2020 (median age 11.9 years, range 0.79-18.9). Testing was done on residual serum taken for other reasons, and the authors point out that this limits the capacity to compare infection rates from their results to the entire paediatric population or to make comparisons between groups. 5 patients (1%) had SARS-CoV2-IgG antibodies (control population from same institution, 0.6%). 27.2% reported prior febrile or respiratory symptoms. 15.7% had a nasopharyngeal swab. 2 patients had rheumatological conditions, 2 solid organ transplant, and 1 solid organ malignancy. None required respiratory support, intensive care, or died. Only 2 patients had a positive NPS and one of these was seronegative (though the time interval between symptoms and blood test may have allowed waning of antibody levels in this case). In this study, all paediatric patients with exposure to SARS-CoV-2 based on the presence of IgG antibodies had relatively minor illness in contrast to reports in immunocompromised adults who seem more likely to be admitted and to have poorer outcomes than children.

Denina, MGarazzino, SPediatr Infect Dis JSequelae of COVID-19 in Hospitalized Children: A 4-Months Follow-Up29 Sep 2020ItalyEurope25Clinical - Clinical Features

This paper is a short report of a study that followed up children hospitalized with COVID-19 in a children’s hospital in Turin, Italy over a 4 month period, and assessed them for sequelae of infection.

Patient cohort: 25 of the 28 patients admitted with COVID-19 between 1 March and 1 June enrolled in the study, 13 male and 12 female. The age range was 0.4 to 15 years, with a median age of 7.75 years. All patients had a SARS-CoV-2 positive nasal swab on admission; 28% were described as having mild disease, 56% moderate disease and 16% severe disease. 52% of the patients had an abnormal lung ultrasound on admission showing a diffuse interstitial pattern, with 38% of these also having multiple area of subpleural consolidation. None were diagnosed with related multi-system inflammatory syndrome.

Follow-up: Patients were followed up 2 weeks post-discharge by telephone, with a subsequent medical examination together with bloods, lung ultrasound and nasal swab on average 35 days (IQR 19-46 days) after discharge. The authors report further follow up by telephone, and in person in some cases, up to 4 months post-discharge.

Imaging: 5 children continued to have abnormal lung ultrasound scans at first follow up, with 2 having persisting consolidation. Of these 2, one had resolved on repeat scan a month later. The other patient had cystic fibrosis and the ongoing lung abnormalities were felt to be related to this underlying condition.

Blood analysis: Most blood markers had normalised at first follow up, with the exception of 5 patients who continued to have some raised inflammatory markers (fibrinogen, ferritin, ESR, D-dimer). These were reported to have normalised on 2nd follow up at 6 weeks post-discharge.

SARS Co-V-2 detection: All nasal swabs were negative for SARS-CoV-2 at first follow up. 20 patients (out of 24 tested) were IgG positive on follow up, 4 were negative (despite positive nasal swabs on admission).

Summary: The findings of this study are positive and reassuring, with the authors reporting complete recovery of all patients and no sequelae of infection 4 months after discharge. This paper is a short report and the authors focus on presenting their laboratory and imaging findings. There is no information about what questions were asked at follow up and what the medical examination involved, so we have a somewhat limited picture of overall health outcomes. This study covered a broad age spectrum, however the cohort was small. Data supportive of these findings from a larger number of children is needed to add weight to the evidence that the prognosis of COVID-19 in children, even those needing hospitalisation, is good.

Bixler, DKoumans, ECDC MMWRSARS-CoV-2-Associated Deaths Among Persons Aged <21 Years - United States, February 12-July 31, 202018 Sep 2020United StatesNorth America121Clinical - Clinical Features

This Morbidity and Mortality Report from the CDC describes the deaths in children and young adults (<21 years of age) associated with SARS-CoV-2 in the United States (US).

Overall, 121 SARS-CoV-2-associated deaths have been reported in the US to July 31st 2020. When stratified by age: 10% occurred in children <1 year, 20% in children 1-9 years and 70% in children and young people 10-20 years of age. Of the 121 deaths, 63% occurred in males, and the most common ethnicity was Hispanic (45%) followed by non-Hispanic Black (29%). The definition of a “SARS-CoV-2” associated death was left to the jurisdictions reporting the deaths, so it is unclear precisely how this is defined; a not-trivial issue given half of deaths in the UK of children who had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 were deemed not attributable to the virus (being infected was incidental).

Comorbidities were present in 75% of children who died. The most frequently reported medical conditions included asthma (28%), obesity (27%), neurological and developmental conditions (22%) and cardiovascular conditions (18%).

This report is consistent with previously published data showing higher mortality in individuals of Hispanic or Black ethnicity and in those with comorbidities.

Biko, DMRapp, JBPaediatr RadiolImaging of children with COVID-19: experience from a tertiary children’s hospital in the United States18 Sep 2020USANorth America313Clinical - Clinical Features

This study looked at 313 SARS-CoV-2 positive children from Children's Hospital Philadelphia and affiliated hospitals with specific attention to radiological imaging performed. Only 55 had any imaging performed, with 51 children having chest X-ray and US, MRI or CT was performed for 23. children Of the 55 children with imaging, 10 met criteria for MIS-C (PIMS-TS).

Of the chest x-ray findings, one third showed abnormalities. The most common finding was related to pneumonia with interstitial opacities or alveolar opacities (total 32 cases). The interstitial opacities were mostly diffuse 10/16. Alveolar opacities were seen in 27% (14/51) of children with xrays. Children with MIS-C were more likely to have interstitial opacities (8/16) and/or pleural effusions (4/5) on chest x-ray.

Of the ten ultrasounds performed, aside from one showing acute appendicitis and another with non-obstructing renal calculi; there were no acute abnormalities.

Treatment data was also collected for the 55 patients who had imaging. Almost all (89%) required hospital admission (range 1->76days), broad spectrum antibiotics were given to 12 (22%).

Overall, most children with SARS-CoV-2 did not require hospital admission or further imaging during their care.

Vann, AMullan, CAm J Emerg MedA case series of pediatric croup with COVID-1915 Sep 2020North AmericaNorth America3Clinical - Clinical Features

This series of three cases from Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters and New York Presbyterian Hospital were found through a retrospective review of children with positive SARS-COV-2 nasopharyngeal RT-PCR swab who also required nebulised non racemic epinephrine (NRE, also known as 1:1000 nebulised adrenaline) in ED. It is important to note that at the time frame searched from 1st March to July 31st 2020, the practice at these hospitals was not to perform SARS-CoV-2 testing for children if they were deemed to have a viral illness and were able to be discharged.

The three cases identified were an 11mo African American boy, 2 year old caucasian female and a 9yo female. All cases were negative for other common viral causes of croup at the time. The presentations appeared to be more prolonged and less responsive to nebulised treatment than usual croup cases with all requiring hospital admission, receiving 3 or more doses of nebulised epinephrine and all receiving >1 dose of dexamethasone due to prolonged time to resolution of stridor at rest. The 11mo boy had 1 day history of symptoms no known sick contacts and the 2 yo girl had two family members with URTI symptoms) (unknown SARS-CoV-2 status and presented with 2 days of symptoms. However the 9yo girl had a mother with positive SARS-COV-2 test 3 days prior to developing symptoms but had been advised not to present to ED until developing respiratory distress- so was seen in ED 7 days from time of symptoms onset. She was the most severe case and was initially managed in an adult ED with racemic epinephrine, codeine and lorazepam iwith initial improvement but represented 12 hours later with return of stridor at rest. She was subsequently transferred to the paediatric hospital, admitted to ICU, failed a trial of BiPap but had improvement after a second trial of Heliox with IV midazolam for anxiolytics. She required 22 hours of helix and dexmedetomidine infusion. She received 6 hours dexamethasone, had an initial dose of Ceftriaxone and given 5 days of IV Remdesivir. She required 4 days of PICU admission with intermittent helix and benzodiazepines for air hunger and respiratory distress and was able to be discharged the subsequent day. She had recovery by one week after discharge. Following these findings, the hospitals have subsequently started testing for SARS-CoV-2 in all children presenting with croup. Whilst more data is required to further understand the presentation of children with SRS-CoV-2 and croup, these cases suggest children with SARS-CoV-2 who do require nebuliser epinephrine tend towards more severe courses of illness.

Chong, CThoon, KClin Infect DisSaliva is not a useful diagnostic specimen in children with Coronavirus Disease 201914 Sep 2020SingaporeAsia18Clinical - Clinical Features

This important pre-print letter from Singapore describes 18 children, 12 asymptomatic, mean age 6.6years, 10 of whom were boys. 53 paired samples of saliva and nasopharyngeal swabs were taken between 22 June and 22 July 2020 during the children’s admission, mean 3.1 paired samples per child.

The detection rate of COVID-18 was significantly lower in saliva than in nasopharyngeal samples with the best sensitivity of only 52.9% in the saliva samples taken between days 4-7.

The authors conclude that “saliva is not a useful specimen for diagnosing COVID-19 in children”

Nino, GLinguraru, GMPediatr PulmonolPEDIATRIC LUNG IMAGING FEATURES OF COVID-19: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND META-ANALYSIS14 Sep 2020Systematic review and metanalysisSystematic review and metanalysis1026Clinical - Clinical Features

Nino et al conducted a systematic review of the literature using PubMed from 1st December 2019 to 11th July 2020 to describe lung imaging features of COVID-19 in children. They included studies that were peer-reviewed and including children aged 0-18 years with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 on reverse transcription PCR with chest imaging. If a study described both adult and paediatric cases, it was only included if paediatric cases were reported separately. Single case reports and literature reviews were excluded. 3278 articles were found and after various exclusions, the authors were left with 29 studies. They found chest x-ray descriptions were not consistently reported, with no studies describing ultrasound findings, and so when they extracted data for meta-analysis they chose to only analyse CT findings. The 29 studies had a pooled sample size of 1026 children with a mean age of 6.57 years (range 1.5 – 14.5 years).

Their findings boil down to:

• Just over a third of children had normal CT chests (35.7%l; 95% CI: 27.5%-44%). The authors compared this to a recent meta-analysis of lung CT changes in adults, stating that children are 3 x more likely to have a normal CT.

• Just under a third had bilateral lung involvement (27.7%; 95% CI: 19.9%-35.6%).

• The most common finding was ground glass opacities, reported in a little over a third of cases (37.2%; 95% CI: 29.3%-45%), somewhere in the region of half as common as in adults with COVID-19.

• The second most common finding was consolidation or pneumonic infiltrates in approximately one fifth of cases (22.3%; 95% CI: 17.8%-26.9%).

• All other lung CT findings reported in adults with COVID-19 were very uncommon (e.g. halo sign, interstitial changes, interlobular septal thickening, bronchovascular bundle thickening, crazy paving pattern, lymphadenopathy, pleural effusion or pleural thickening).

• Findings typically found in other paediatric respiratory infections, such as hyperinflation, were not seen.

The authors describe several limitations, the biggest being that only CT findings were described, despite the fact x-ray is more frequently used in children. They were also unable to correlate imaging findings with disease severity due to the lack of clinical data in the papers studied. Although the data analysed was from multi-national datasets, the majority were from China, particularly near Wuhan, and so were less international than on first appearances. The authors also explain that radiologists from different parts of the world use different terminology, giving the example “shadow” being often used to describe lung opacities, without specifying whether these were ground glass opacities, pneumonic infiltrates or something else. Perhaps more topically, there were no studies including lung imaging findings in Pediatric Inflammatory Syndrome.

What can we take away from this paper? There are two messages:

• lung CT findings in children with COVID-19 are less frequent and less severe than in adults

• typical changes seen in other paediatric viral respiratory infections do not seem to be present in children with COVID-19

This information may not be particularly useful in clinical practice, except in severely unwell children with COVID-19. Given the risks associated with ionising radiation, plus the not infrequent need for sedation, CT is not commonly used in children with COVID-19, except in extreme cases.

Han, MSChang, SHJAMA PaediatrClinical Characteristics and Viral RNA Detection in Children With Coronavirus Disease 2019 in the Republic of Korea28 Aug 2020KoreaAsia91Clinical - Clinical Features

This Korean case series examined children aged 0-18 years with COVID-19 who presented across 22 facilities (20 hospitals) from February 18-March 31st 2020. It focuses on clinical features and duration of SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR detection. A total of 91 were identified by SARS-CoV-2RNA RT-PCR on nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal or sputum swabs due to testing for one of the following reasons: symptomatic, close contact with a confirmed case, testing as apart of outbreak or screening on return from overseas.

Demographics included 53 (58%) male cases, with the median age being 11 years (range 27 days - 18 years). The majority (85, 93%) were previously well. Of the 6 with underlying medical conditions, 3 had asthma and epilepsy respectively.  Exposure was from a household contact in 57 (63%) of cases, with 15 (17%) imported, 11 (12%) cluster-associated, 4 from another contact and 4 remaining an unknown source.

Cases were mostly mild (46, 51%) or asymptomatic 20 (22%). There were 20 moderate, 2 severe cases and 3 unclassified. No children required mechanical ventilation. Fever ≥  38 as seen in 27 (30%) of patents, 54 (60%) had cough or coryza , 8 had loss of smell or taste, 5 had anosmia and 16 (18%) had gastrointestinal symptoms including diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Only one patient had gastrointestinal symptoms without fever or respiratory symptoms. Two thirds of children had symptoms prior to diagnosis (median time 3 days). The duration of symptoms for cases lasted a median of 11 days (range 1-36 days).

The children were tested for SARS-CoV-2 repeatedly to determine cessation of virus RNA detection, however intervals were not standardised, with a median of 3 days (range 1-15 days). Children who were asymptomatic had virus RNA detectable for an average of 14.1 days, and those with URTI or LRTI symptoms, at 18.7 and 19.9 days respectively (difference between these groups was not significant). Twelve children were given treatment with lopinavir-ritonavir and two with hydroxychloroquine. There was no difference in detection between the groups treated with the antiviral lopinavir-ritonavir or not.

This study confirms what many previous studies have demonstrated, which is that children with SARS-CoV-2 can remain PCR positive for prolonged periods. This study adds that this is also the case for children who do not develop symptoms. What is unclear is for how long this represents live virus with replicative potential. Culturable virus has not been detected beyond day 8 of symptoms. The authors of this study did not provide ct values which would enable some estimate of the presence of culturable virus (low ct values usually represent viral fragments).

Oterino Serrano, CBret-Zurita , MEur J RadiolPediatric chest x-ray in covid-19 infection26 Aug 2020spain Europe44Clinical - Clinical Features

Introduction: This is a radiological case series of the chest x-rays of 44 paediatric patients with confirmed SarsCoV2 infection from a tertiary paediatric hospital in Spain.

Patients <16 years from, 13th March to April 6th 2020, with positive PCR who had a clinical need for a chest x-ray were included. The indication for x-rays were not reported, so the precise nature of this cohort is unclear. All patients were admitted to hospital, so these findings likely represent the most unwell children with COVID-19. Two paediatric radiologists retrospectively and independently reviewed the chest x-ray films to determine the abnormality, distribution and evolution, if repeat x-ray was available.

Patient demographics : Of 44 patients, 29 were male (65.9 %). Median age was 79.8 months (2 weeks – 16 years). 23 (52.3%) had an underlying condition; cardiomyopathies (13.6 %), nephropathies (9%), history of prematurity (6.8 %), liver and renal transplantation (4.5 %), and neoplasm (4.5 %).

Radiological findings : 38 (86%) x-rays had peri-bronchial thickening, mainly perihilar (81%). Ground glass opacities (GCO) occurred in 40%. Consolidation was seen in 8, and a pleural effusion in 4. Four children had a normal chest x-ray. Most children recovered quickly and were discharged. Persistence or worsening of symptoms was observed in 15.9 % of the patients (7/44), they had new consolidation or worsening of features on their repeat x-ray. Unfavourable outcomes were more frequent when initial X-ray had bilateral involvement, diffuse affectation and combination of peri-bronchial cuffing and GGOs.

Conclusion: Most children with symptomatic COVID 19 requiring admission to hospital had some chest x-ray abnormalities, mainly perihilar thinking and ground glass opacities. In general the chest X-rays of children with Covid 19 are non-specific, and not sensitive to the disease.

Yonker, LFasano, AjpedsPediatric SARS-CoV-2: Clinical Presentation, Infectivity and Immune Responses19 Aug 2020USANorth America192Clinical - Clinical Features

This is an observational cohort study from Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA

192 "children" (ages were 0-22 years) were enrolled when they presented with possible Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) at urgent care clinics (with symptoms or because of contact with a case) or were hospitalised with confirmed/ suspected SARS-CoV-2 or Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). Dates of enrolment are not given.

Samples were collected after consent/assent: Nasopharyngeal swabs (83 samples), oropharyngeal swabs (105) and blood (100). Viral load was determined from respiratory and plasma samples, and ACE2 expression in the upper airways from the swabs.


125(65%) children were SARS-CoV-2 negative, 49(26%) had acute SARS-CoV-2 infection and 18(9%) had MIS-C. MIS-C children were more likely to be younger and male.

.80% of the SARS-CoV-2(+) children had a known household contact but so did 44% of the SARS-CoV-2(-) and 45%of the MIS-C children. SARS-CoV-2(+) and (-) children presented similarly with non-specific symptoms, and anosmia occurred in 20% of the SARS-CoV-2 (+) group. MIS-C children most commonly had fever, followed by nausea and vomiting, and rash. There was no significant prevalence of any co-morbidities in any of the groups

Viral load in the respiratory samples of the SARS-CoV-2(+) was comparable to adults despite mild or absent symptom even in the youngest children. A comparison is made between children within 2 days of symptom onset and hospitalised adults after 7 days of symptoms, which is unhelpful as these time points are clearly not comparable (viral load rapidly decreases after onset of symptoms).

SARS-CoV-2 antibody response data is presented and is said to show a generalised enhancement of humoral immune responses as a marker of severe MIS-C

ACE2 gene expression of the upper airway was quantified by NP/OP swabs from both infected and non-infected children. ACE2 levels were higher in those with infection of SARS-CoV-2 and those with MIS-C (difference 10-4 – 10-5 log, p=0.004), and there was an increase of ACE2 expression with age, although with high variability. There was no association between ACE2 expression and viral load.

In summary, this study confirms a number of already known elements regarding children with COVID-19 or MIS-C, including that viral loads appear comparable to adults and that many symptoms are non-specific. This study confirms increasing ACE2 expression with age, which may in part explain reduced susceptibility to acquiring infection. Of interest is lack of correlation between viral load and ACE2 expression. Despite strong claims about transmission by the authors, the study does not address this question or add new information on this point.

Carter, MShankar-HariNat MedPeripheral immunophenotypes in children with multisystem inflammatory syndrome associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection18 Aug 2020United KingdomEurope25Clinical - Clinical Features

This study examines the peripheral leukocyte phenotype of children with multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).

A total of 25 children with a median age of 12.5 (range 7.7-14.4) were included. Clinical features of MIS-C were most commonly gastrointestinal symptoms (72%), polymorphous non-blanching rash (48%), and bilateral non-purulent conjunctivitis (40%). Only 2 (8%) children met criteria for Kawasaki Disease. Of note, 7 (30%) had coronary artery aneurysms. Treatments during admission included high-dose corticosteroids (80%), intravenous immunoglobulin (92%) and biologic agents (56%). Majority (84%) required admission to the paediatric intensive care, however only 2 (8%) of children required mechanical ventilation. Only 1 child (4%) was positive for SARS-CoV-2 PCR, however 17 (68%) were SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody positive.

Leukocyte phenotyping was done during the acute (n=23), resolution (n=14), and convalescent (n=10) phase of illness. In the acute phase of illness, elevated levels of interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-17, interferon-γ and differential T an B cell subset lymphopaenia were observed. In addition, there were decreased levels of HLA-DR and CD86 expression on antigen-presenting cells. Interestingly, the differential expression of these markers and elevated cytokines resolved as the child recovered.

This important study demonstrates that MIS-C is a distinct immunopathogenic illness. Future studies including larger cohorts of children will be critical in rational development of future therapies for this condition.

Swann, OSemple, MBMJClinical characteristics of children and young people admitted to hospital with covid-19 in United Kingdom: prospective multicentre observational cohort study17 Aug 2020UKEurope651Clinical - Clinical Features

This large prospective observational study from 260 hospitals in the UK examines the clinical characteristics of children (<19yo) hospitalised with laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection between 17th January and 3rd July 2020; as part of the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC) WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK cohort. The main outcome measures were admission to critical care, in-hospital mortality and MIS-C.

Results;A total of 651 children admitted to 138 hospitals were included; median age was 4.6 (IQR 0.3-13.7); 35% were <12 months of age. Of patients with recorded ethnicity 57% were white, 12% south asian and 10% black. 56% were male and 42% had identified co-morbidities. 

Symptoms;The most common symptoms were fever (70%), cough (35%) nausea / vomiting (32%) and dyspnoea (30%). Three distinct clusters of symptoms were identified:- a discreet respiratory illness - cough, fever, dyspnoea, coryza and wheeze- a mucocutaneous enteric illness - headache, myalgia, sore throat, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fatigue, rash, lymphadenopathy and conjunctivitis- a rarer neurological ilness - seizures and confusion

Critical care and mortality;Critical care admission occurred in 18% (116/632); 8% received inotropic support; 9% received non-invasive and invasive ventilation respectively. Children of black ethnicity had higher odds of critical care admission (OR 2.82). Infants <1mo (OR 3.21, 95% CI 1.36-7.66) and children 10-14 yo (OR 3.23, 95% CI 1.55-6.99) were also more likely to be admitted to critical care. Co-morbidities including prematurity, respiratory and cardiac co-morbidities and obesity were more common in those with critical care admission compared with those receiving ward care.Six (1%) of patients died in hospital, all had serious comorbidities; 89% of children had been discharged alive and 10% remained in hospital at the time of reporting.

MIS-C;Based on the preliminary WHO case definition, 11% (52/456) of admitted children fulfilled diagnostic criteria for MIS-C. Children with MIS-C were older than those without (median 10.7 yo vs 1.6 yo) and were more likely to be of non-white ethnicity (64% vs 42%); obesity was also more common amongst those with MIS-C (10% vs 2%). Children with MIS-C were more likely to require critical care admission (73% vs 15%), receive inotropes (51%), invasive (27%) and non-invasive (35%) ventilation. There were no deaths due to MIS-C.

Of children with MIS-C differences were noted between those who were SARS-CoV-2 PCR positive (acute phase of infection - 56%) and those who were antibody positive (post-acute phase of infection - 44%). Antibody positive MIS-C patients were more likely to be of non-white ethnicity (90% vs 45%), less likely to be obese (0% vs 19%), and more likely to have conjunctivitis (71% vs 16%) and abdominal pain (95% vs 44%) compared to those who were PCR positive. Dyspnoea was more common in PCR positive patients (52% vs 14%). Cardiac complications were also more common in the antibody positive group (75% vs 35%).

Conclusion;The findings of this large prospective study are consistent with previous studies indicating that children represent a small proportion of hospitalised cases of COVID-19 (0.9% here), that outcomes in children are generally favourable and that death due to COVID-19 in children is rare. Similar to previous studies, fever and cough were the most common symptoms, although gastrointestinal symptoms (35%) were more common in this cohort; the identification of a mucocutaneous-enteric symptom cluster with overlap with WHO MIS-C criteria is a novel finding here. Children of black ethnicity were over-represented in overall cases, as well as amongst children admitted to critical care units, consistent with adult data from the UK. Similarly, obesity was associated with increased risk of critical care admission. 

The association of MIS-C with older age and non-white ethnicity are consistent with previous studies. In addition to current WHO criteria, fatigue, headache, myalgia, sore throat and low platelet count were all associated with MIS-C.  The demographic and clinical differences identified between MIS-C patients who were antibody positive compared with those who were PCR positive suggest a spectrum of clinical presentation that varies according to phase of infection and immune response.

Liu, XChen, JJ Infect DisClinical and epidemiological features of 46 children under 1 year old with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study 06 Aug 2020ChinaAsia46Clinical - Clinical Features

This restrospective case series study analyses the clinical features of 46 infants less than 1 years old who were confirmed to have COVID-19 at Wuhan Children’s Hospital (China) between the period 26th January 2020 to 15th March 2020. It was not described how these patients were identified for the study. 25 patients (54.35%) were male and 21 (45.65%) were female. The median age was 5 months (IQR 2-7 months). The authors classed 2 patients (4.35%) as having severe or critical disease, 40 patients (86.96%) as moderate disease, 2 patients (4.35%) as mild disease, and 2 patients (4.35%) as asymptomatic. Sadly one patient (2.17%) died (age 10 months), and the remaining 45 (97.83%) were discharged home.

Cough (n=27; 58.7%) and fever (n=16; 34.78%) were the predominant features, with a minority of other patients experiencing vomiting (n=5; 10.87%); Nasal congestion and rhinorrhoea (n=3; 6.52%); dyspnoea (n=1; 2.17%); tachypnoea (n=1; 2.17%); diarrhoea (n=1; 2.17%); and sneezing (n=1; 2.17%).

With regards to complications, the following were found: liver dysfunction (n=20; 45.45%); cardiac injury (n=38; 86.36%); acute gastroenteritis (n=3; 6.52%); multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (n=1; 2.17%); required mechanical ventilation (n=2; 4.35%).

Common laboratory findings included: Lymphocytosis (n=13; 28.26%); raised ALT (n=11; 25.00%); raised AST (n=20; 45.45%); raised lactate dehydrogenase (n=23; 52.27%); raised creatine kinase (n=10; 22.72%); raised creatine kinase MB (n=38; 86.36%); raised CRP (n=8; 19.05%); raised CD3+ T cell (n=10; 28.57%); raised CD4+ T cell (n=14; 40.00%); raised CD19+ B cell (n=16 patients; 47.51%); raised IL-10 (n=15; 44.12%).

Caro-Dominguez, Pvan Rijn, RPediatr RadiolThoracic imaging of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in children: a series of 91 cases04 Aug 2020Spain, Italy, France, Iran, USA, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Hong Kong, Netherlands, UK and Mexico International91Clinical - Clinical Features

This international multicentre retrospective study of 91 children with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 describes the radiological findings of their chest imaging. Data was included from Spain, Italy, France, USA, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Hong Kong, Netherlands, UK and Mexico. Chest x-rays were reviewed independently by 3 senior paediatric radiologists. Chest CT images were evaluated by a different group of 3 senior paediatric radiologists. Impressions were shared and consensus reached for each image.

Of the 91 children, 11% had severe symptoms requiring PICU and 30 (33%) had coexisting medical conditions including 16 immunocompromised children, 7 children with congenital heart disease and 7 with long-term respiratory conditions. Six (7%) children were asymptomatic.

81 (89%) of the children in the study had chest x-rays. Of these, 10% were entirely normal despite the children being SARS-CoV-2 positive. None of the children with a normal x-ray required PICU admission. The most common abnormal x-ray findings were increased central peribronchovascular markings, bronchial wall thickening (47, 58%) and consolidation (28, 35%). Ground glass opacities and interstitial changes were less common in 16 (19%) and 13 (16%) children respectively. Pleural effusion (6, 7%), pneumothorax (2, 2%) and atelectasis (2, 2%) were uncommon.

24 (26%) of the children had a chest CT, mostly adolescents. The most frequent indication for CT was as a screening tool where the wait time for PCR testing was long. 22 (92%) of the CT scans were abnormal. The two most common CT changes were lower lobe ground glass opacification (21, 88%) and consolidation (14, 58%). The patterns seen on CT mirrored those described in adult studies: peripheral ground glass opacities in early stages, with ground glass with consolidation with or without interlobular septal thickening in more severe cases.

Only 3 children had lung ultrasound. One is described in the article as showing the characteristic B lines in the posterior and lateral left lung and pleural thickening. One asymptomatic child had an MRI for another reason which showed characteristic changes of COVID-19. Following this scan she was tested for COVID-19 on the recommendation of the radiologists.

paper contains numerous examples of x-rays, CTs and lung ultrasound images. The authors make several conclusions, which can be summarised in six points: In contract to adult studies, “bilateral, peripheral and subpleural ground glass opacities and/or consolidation” is not the typical chest x-ray finding of COVID-19 in children.Instead, chest x-rays of children with COVID-19 are nonspecific, frequently demonstrating peribronchovascular markings and airspace consolidation, seen in many other lower airway inflammatory disorders, viral infections and pneumonia. They therefore cannot be used to differentiate between COVID-19 and other childhood lung infections and should not be used as a screening tool for diagnosis of COVID-19 If radiographic imaging is required in symptomatic children, chest x-ray should remain the first imaging modality of choice, to assess for infection or pneumonia.Paediatric COVID-19 CT patterns are predominantly lower lobe ground glass opacity, as in adults, plus a more centrilobular or peribronchovascular pattern, not seen in adults, although it is not clear if this is directly due to COVID-19 or coinfection with other respiratory infectious agents. These findings are nonspecific and resemble other lower respiratory tract infections.CT should be reserved for complex cases or when there is clinical concern to assess for possible complications.In general, paediatric lung ultrasound image quality is superior to that in adults due to a thinner thoracic wall, however the role of lung ultrasound in children with suspected COVID-19 is unclear. The authors suggest lung ultrasound should be evaluated as a potential radiographic tool in paediatric COVID-19.

Heald-Sargent, TKociolek, LKJAMA PaediatrAge-Related Differences in Nasopharyngeal SevereAcute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2(SARS-CoV-2) Levels in Patients With Mild toModerate Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)30 Jul 2020AmericaNorth America97Clinical - Clinical Features

This research letter looked at 145 patients aged 1 month to 65 years old who were symptomatic and had positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR on nasopharyngeal swab at a paediatric hospital in Chicago between March 23 and April 27th, 2020. Included were 46 children aged <5 years, 51 aged 5-17 years of age and 48 adults. Cycle threshold values of RT-PCR were measured and compared across the three age groups. A significant difference was found with children under 5 having lower cycle threshold values than children aged 5-17 and adults. The older children and adults had no significant difference found in cycle threshold.

These findings are at odds with most other studies of viral loads in children, which have shown little clinically relevant difference to levels found in adults (or if anything slightly lower levels). The reason is unclear, but this study confirms what was already known, that children carry viruses in their nasopharynx which is potentially transmissible (previous studies have found culturable virus in children). To what extents this correlates with how infectious children may be remains unknown.

Pavel, A.BYassky, EEJACISARS‐CoV‐2 receptorACE2 protein expression in serum is significantly associated with age29 Jul 2020USANorth AmericaClinical - Clinical Features

This is a peer review letter to the editor of Allergy, where ACE2 protein expression was measured in children and adults with and without atopic dermatitis using a previous cohort and their samples.

Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is an integral component of the renin angiotensin system SARS COV2 cell entry is facilitated by ACE2. It is proposed that lower prevalence and maturity of ACE2 in children is one of the reasons for less illness, and less illness severity in children .

Methods: This study used samples from a previous published cohort of 19 healthy infants and toddlers and compared to 17 healthy adults and compared to 29 infants/toddlers and 55 adults with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis. Those with atopic dermatitis are not known to have increased susceptibility to SARS COV2. This cohort was generally healthy with no history of cardiovascular disease. None of paediatric control or AD groups had asthma. None of the control adults, but 17 of the AD adults had asthma.

They also investigated Cathepsin L/CTSL1 in both infant/adult and healthy/AD cohorts. CTSL1 is a protease which cleaves and primes SARS-Cov-1 spike protein, and is hypotheseized to play a similar role in SARS-CoV2.

Results: Adults had more ACE 2 expression than infants/toddlers. AD did not influence ACE2 expression. Males expressed ACE2 more than females. In a sensitivity analysis there was a trend towards increased expression of ACE2 in African American adults, and both African American and Asian toddlers.

CTSL1 was significantly greater in adults than infants/toddlers and was positively associated with ACE2 expression.

Conclusion: These results reflect what is already known, that ACE2 expression is higher in adults than infant/toddler and in men rather than women. It also suggests, and reflects what is seen clinically, that atopy does not increase risk of morbidity or mortality for Covid -19

Moraleda, CTagarro, AClinical infectious DiseasesMulti-Inflammatory Syndrome in Children related to SARS-CoV-2 in Spain25 Jul 2020SpainEurope252Clinical - Clinical Features

Clusters of children with a multisystem inflammatory syndrome associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection (MIS-C) have been reported in Europe and the USA. The authors describe the epidemiological and clinical features in a case series of children with MIS-C in Spain from March 1st to June 1st, 2020. MIS-C is a potentially severe condition that presents in children with recent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Children younger than 18 years with infection due to SARS-CoV-2 and attended at 49 hospitals were included in this registry. Inclusion criteria included positivity in real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) positive, IgM or IgG in lateral-flow rapid test, ELISA or immuno-chemiluminescence serology, or severe disease suggestive of MIS-C and recent household contact with a confirmed patient with COVID-19.

Results; In the study period, 312 patients attended 49 hospitals, and 252 participants were hospitalized. Of them, 181 (72%) were admitted due to causes directly or likely related to SARSCoV-2. The remaining 71 (28%) were admitted due to causes not related with SARS-CoV-2, but were screened and found to be infected with SARS-CoV-2. A total of 31/252 (12%) children were diagnosed as MIS-C and/or Kawasaki disease by their physicians.


The peak of MIS-C cases were one month after the peak of admissions for other COVID-19 related reasons and decreased afterward.

Median age and interquartile range were 7.6 [4.5; 11.5] years. A total of 30 (97%) children had microbiological or serological evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and the remaining patient, an 11- year old boy with incomplete Kawasaki disease and pericardial effusion, had epidemiological household contact with a COVID-19 adult patient, his father.

The World Health Organization recently released diagnostic criteria for this condition. All the described patients fulfilled the WHO case definition for MIS-C, except for 1/31 patients (3%). Rash or bilateral non-purulent conjunctivitis, or muco-cutaneous inflammation signs were found in 21/31 (67%) patients; hypotension or shock in 15/31 (48%), features of myocardial dysfunction 25/31 (80%) consisting of pericarditis, valvulitis, arrhythmias or coronary abnormalities in 19/31 (61%); 6 (19%) additional children had only an elevation of a biochemical marker of heart dysfunction (NT-proBNP); evidence of coagulopathy (specifically, elevated D-dimers) was found in 29/30 (97%), and acute gastrointestinal problems (diarrhoea, vomiting, or abdominal pain), in 27/31 (87%). No other apparent microbial cause of inflammation as sepsis or staphylococcal or streptococcal shock syndrome was found.

One child already on oral steroids for interstitial lung disease did not fit the WHO criteria for raised inflammatory markers but was included as all other criteria were met.

Thirteen children (45%) fulfilled the criteria of complete or incomplete Kawasaki disease.  Twenty (65%) patients needed admission to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, and 6/31 (19%) invasive mechanical ventilation. Cardiac complications consisted of myocardial dysfunction (15/31; 48%), pericardial effusion (6/31; 19%); valvular dysfunction (9/31; 29%), arrhythmias (7/31; 23%) and coronary abnormalities (3/31; 10%, among them 1 aneurysm). Four patients (13%) had renal failure.

Two (6%) patients received Remdesivir and 7/31 (23%) Lopinavir/Ritonavir. A total of 21/31 (68%) children received corticosteroids: 19 of these received methylprednisolone (13 patients received doses of 1 to 2.5 mg/kg/day; 2 patients boluses of 8 and 30 mg/kg/day for 3 days; 4 had dosing unavailable), 20/31 (65%) patients received 2 gr/kg of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and 13/31 (42%) patients received both IVIG and corticosteroids. All but three patients received broad spectrum antibiotics.

One patient with acute leukaemia and bone marrow transplant died, and one 6-month-old patient (with Downs Syndrome) developed anterior-descendant coronary aneurysm (z-score +9). The rest recovered without sequelae.

Limitations of this study include that some cases without microbiological, serological or epidemiological links may not have been included in this registry. 

The authors conclude SARS-CoV-2 could be a relevant trigger for a delayed cytokine storm and an inflammatory condition, with potentially severe consequences. Coinfections as hMPV may be present and might play a role in triggering the immune response. It is possible that some particular patients with special features such as chronic immunosuppressive treatment influencing inflammatory markers - may have MISC but not fulfil all WHO criteria.

Conclusion The authors concluded MIS-C is a potentially severe condition that presents in some children after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Physicians should be aware of this severe condition in children during COVID-19 epidemics. More studies are necessary to clarify the physiopathology of this syndrome and its treatment. 

Comment Even when removing the child without serological evidence of COVID-19 and the child which did not meet WHO criteria in this study, 29/252 or 11.5% of hospitalised patients developed MIS-C which is significant One death was reported in a patient with leukaemia and one complication in a patient with Downs syndrome but the rest of the patients (27/29, 93%) recovered without sequelae.

Prata-Barbosa, ACunha, AJ Pediatr (Rio J)Pediatric patients with COVID-19 admitted to intensive care units in Brazil: a prospective multicenter study19 Jul 2020BrazilSouth America79Clinical - Clinical Features

Date, patient identification and location. Between 1st March 2020 and 31st of May 2020, 79 patients aged 1 month to 19 years consecutively admitted to 19 pediatric intensive care units in Brazil with confirmed COVID-19 (RT-PCR in 72/79 and IgM and/or IgG antibodies in the other 7/79) and were included. 10 of these patients including 5 that only had positive antibodies had multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) .

Age: median age 4 years( range 1 to 10.3 years)

Gender:43/79( 54%) male.

Ethnicity: 58% were white,25% mixed race, 15% black and 1% Asian.

Comorbidities:32/79( 41%) had previous comorbidities with neuromuscular disease predominant (28%) and chronic respiratory disease 19% , congenital heart disease 16%, diabetes 6% , undernutrition 6% and obesity 3%.

Clinical features : most common symptom was fever 59/79 (76%), followed by cough 40/79(51% ), tachypnoea 39/79 (50% )low oxygen saturation 23/79 (29%) , runny nose 17/79 (22%), diarrhoea 16/79(21%), vomiting 16/79(21%) and red throat 3/79(4%).

In MIS-C (n=10) : presentation included Kawasaki like disease 6/10 (60%), acute cardiac dysfunction 2/10(20%), toxic shock syndrome 1/10(10%), Macrophage activation syndrome 1/10(10%).

.Radiology: 42/68 (62%) had abnormal chest radiographs with 25/42(60%) having diffuse interstitial infiltrate. Chest CT with ground glass opacities in 19/38 (50%).

Bloods: Lymphopenia in 21/59(36%) of non MIS-C group and 5/10(50%) of MIS-C group.

Inflammatory markers including ESR,CRP,LDH,D-dimer, procalcitonin and ferritin were tested in varying number of cases but mainly in MIS-C group and were elevated in most tested patients.

Outcome: 32/79(41%) needed only oxygen therapy. Invasive mechanical ventilation was needed in 14(18%) for median of 7.5 days . Comorbidities were independently associated with the need for invasive mechanical ventilation (OR 5.5). Antibiotics , Oseltamivir and corticosteroids were used in 76%, 43%, and 23% respectively . The median intensive care length of stay was 5 days . There were 2 deaths (3% ) both in none MIS-C group. Age less than 1 year was not associated with a worse prognosis and patients with MIS-C had more severe symptoms, high inflammatory biomarkers but only comorbidities and chronic disease were independent predictors of severity.

Comment and Justification: this is the first study on COVID-19 in Pediatric CIU patients in Brazil which currently has one of the highest rates of infection .It has shown that the characteristics of the disease in Brazil are similar to other countries except age less than 1 year was not associated with a worse prognosis.

Kainth, MLorry, GRPediatricsEarly Experience of COVID-19 in a US Children's Hospital17 Jul 2020USANorth America65Clinical - Clinical Features

is the first comprehensive report from a major US paediatric centre. It describes all admitted cases of COVID-19 in children and young people (CYP) aged 0-22 years, from 23 Jan to 23 April 2020. It comes from the Cohen Children’s Medical Centre, just outside New York City, which serves a relatively deprived urban population. All had SARS-CoV-2 PCR positive antigen tests.

results are broadly similar to earlier reports from China and Europe, but with some interesting detail. Of the 65 admissions, the median age was 10.3 years, but there was a bimodal distribution, with 29% being infants of < 3 months, and 48% older than 12 years. Those with an underlying medical condition were over-represented (55%).

disease severity was considered mild in 60%, moderate in 26% and severe in 14%. Mean duration of hospital stay was 3.2 days. 23 (35%) went to intensive care. The older CYP did worse than the infants: 44% of 16 previously healthy CYP required any sort of respiratory support (1 ventilated), compared to 26% of 19 infants (none ventilated).

with either immunocompromise (e.g. cancer treatment) or chronic illness (e.g. chronic lung or neuromuscular disease) were identified separately. Although over-represented in the admissions, most did well: 21% of the 14 immunocompromised required oxygen or any respiratory support (3 ventilated), as did 44% of the 16 chronically ill (5 ventilated). There was one death, a toddler with advanced neuromuscular disease. Only one developed multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C).

esity was a significant risk for admission (but not for severity): 58% of the previously healthy children were obese, more than expected for the population.

expected, the most common presenting symptoms and signs were fever (86%), upper respiratory signs (34%), lower respiratory signs (60%), anorexia (40%), myalgia (34%), abdominal pain (17%) and headache (17%). Two had seizures. Anosmia was rare (1). Interestingly, only 4/10 with known asthma presented with wheezing.,

estigation findings were similar to earlier reports. Increased CRP and white cell counts were seen, showing strong associations with disease severity. Chest X-ray abnormalities were more common than might be expected from clinical status: 21 of 43 X-rayed had abnormal findings.

iviral ‘treatment’ of some sort was given to 40%, including hydroxychloroquine, remdesevir, anakinra and corticosteroids. Outcomes so far were good: 83% discharged well, 5% discharged with ‘sequelae’, 11% still inpatients.

this is further evidence, this time from an American population, that Covid-19 is less dangerous in children than adults, and that the prognosis is good in the vast majority. This is in spite of this population’s high prevalence of underlying serious conditions, obesity, and relative deprivation.

Derespina, KRMedar, SSJ PediatrClinical Manifestations and Outcomes of Critically Ill Children and Adolescents with COVID-19 in New York City.16 Jul 2020USANorth America70Clinical - Clinical Features

This multicenter retrospective observational study from New York City, USA, considers admissions of patients up to 21 years of age to 9 paediatric intensive care units (PICU) in New York City between 14 March 2020 and 2 May 2020. The authors consider 70 patients who are critically ill with COVID-19 positive nasopharyngeal swabs, and present their clinical manifestations, factors associated with PICU admission, and length of hospital stay. The data collection occurred prior to the definition of the multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, therefore this presentation is not represented in this study.

he median age of patients included is 15 (IQR 9, 19). 61.4% are male. 74.3% had at least one comorbidity. 72.9% presented with fever, and 71.4% presented with cough. Bi-lateral infiltrates were the most common chest X-ray finding (50%). CRP, procalcitonin, lactate, pro-BNP and IL-6 were elevated. ARDS was associated with significantly longer duration of admission. Back/Latino race was associated with higher probability of discharge home by day 28.

NOTE – Some duplication of data :31 out of the 70 patients who are described in this paper have been discussed in other published reports.

Gaborieau, LMadhi, FJ Clin Med 9(7)Epidemiology and Clinical Presentation of Children Hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Suburbs of Paris14 Jul 2020FranceEurope192Clinical - Clinical Features

This paper presents the demographic characteristics, presenting symptoms, co-morbidities, and clinical progression of 192 children hospitalized with either confirmed nasopharyngeal PCR for SARS-CoV-2 (157) or strongly suspected but negative PCR (35) in the Ile-de-France département, in and around Paris, during their period of lockdown, from 23/03/20 to 10/05/20. The male:female ratio was 1.3:1. Those aged <1 made up 49% of the group, and those under ≤1 month, 17.7%. 29.2% had an underlying medical condition. Twenty four (12.5%) required PIC, 19 required ventilatory support (12 by mechanical ventilation) and 3 died.

Wardell, HDixit, AJ Pediatr Infect DisSARS-CoV-2 Infection in Febrile Neonates09 Jul 2020USANorth America4Clinical - Clinical Features

Case reports of 4 term male neonates presenting with fever and testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, in Boston, USA, between 17/04-06/05/20. All infections were likely to have been acquired postnatally from close household contacts. Two had co-infection (1 E. coli UTI, 1 human metapneumovirus). All made a full recovery after a brief illness but 1 was still shedding virus when last tested (20 days). One had evidence of myocardial dysfunction which was postulated to be consistent with a pulmonary immunovascular coagulopathy model. This neonate did not have any co-infection and was treated with remdesivir; claimed to be the first reported use of this drug in a neonate. The only neonate with lymphopenia was that co-infected with hMPV. Authors advise continuing to screen febrile neonates for other infections even when there has been close contact with a proven case of SARS-CoV-2 and the neonate itself is positive.

Yudan, DWenbin,GFront PediatrClinical Characteristics of Children With COVID-19: A Meta-Analysis03 Jul 2020ChinaAsia396Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a meta-analysis of papers published between 1 January and 1 April 2020 undertaken by Chinese authors. The authors undertook a literature search and identified 121 papers worldwide, only 33 studies met the inclusion criteria and more than half these were case reports. Interestingly all the included papers were from China.

396 children in total were identified with an age range 0-17 years (mean 5.5 years), just over 60% were >5 years old, 58% were male. 6.1% of all the included children had underlying diseases. In terms of the transmission route, 86.4% of the children with COVID-19 had close contact with family members with COVID-19 and 10% tested positive for other pathogens, such as influenza virus types A and B and Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

Fever (51.2%) and cough (37.0%) were the most frequent symptom, 17.4% of the children had asymptomatic infections. Furthermore, 66.7% had pneumonia, and 19% had radiologic features of pneumonia but were asymptomatic. Five developed severe or critical illness and required intensive care. The authors report that as of April 1, 2020, two child deaths were recorded in China (a 10-month-old child and a 14-year-old boy) but do not say if these two children were part of the study cohort.

The most frequent abnormal laboratory findings were leukopenia/lymphopenia (28.9%) and increased creatine kinase (20.%). Ground glass opacities were observed on CT scans in 53.9% of the children diagnosed with pneumonia.

The nineteen case reports included 25 patients. Their mean age was 4.6 years 48% were male, and 36% were older than 5 years. 76% of these were in a family cluster. No cases had underlying diseases or other pathogenic infections. Common clinical manifestations included fever (60%), nasal congestion/rhinorrhoea (28%), cough (24%), and digestive tract symptoms (24%). In addition, 11 (47.8%) of the 25 patients had pneumonia, four (16%) were asymptomatic but with imaging features of pneumonia, and one (4%) was critically ill. No deaths were reported. Five (25%) children had GGO on their CT scan. The most prevalent abnormal laboratory finding was increased creatine kinase (58.3%), followed by increased procalcitonin (55.6%), increased LDH (44.4%), and increased white blood cells/lymphocytes (36.8%)

In their discussion the authors conclude “Children are at a lower risk of developing COVID-19 and likely have a milder disease compared with adults. However, the evidence presented in this study is not satisfactory. Further investigations are urgently needed, and our data will be continuously updated.”

Denina,MGarrazino,SPEDIATRICSLung Ultrasound in Children With COVID-1901 Jul 2020ItalyEurope8Clinical - Clinical Features

Between March 18th and 26th 2020 8 children (age range 3 months to 10 years), 5 of whom were boys were admitted to Regina Margherita Children’s Hospital, Turin with Covid 19 respiratory tract infections. All 8 children had linear array chest ultrasound during routine medical examination. Although the number of patients analysed was small, the high concordance between radiologic and LUS findings suggested that ultrasound may be a reasonable method to detect lung abnormalities in children with COVID-19. The advantage of LUS was that the investigation could be done at the bedside, thus preventing transport of a potential infectious patient through a hospital

Wu, QXing, QPediatricsCo-infection and Other Clinical Characteristics of COVID-19 in Children 01 Jul 2020ChinaAsia74Clinical - Clinical Features

This retrospective study from 2 hospitals in China examines the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of 74 children with confirmed SARS CoV-2 infection. Consistent with other studies, the majority of children experienced a mild course of illness with only one severe case requiring non-invasive ventilation. All recovered.

Cough was present in 32%, fever in 27% and 40% were asymptomatic at the time of testing. Lymphopenia was present in only 5% of cases. Abnormal CT imaging was observed in 50%, but only 12% showed typical changes of COVID-19.

Of those tested for other respiratory pathogens 19 of 34 had co-infection. Mycoplasma pneumoniae (16) and RSV (3) were the most common pathogens. It is not clear how these pathogens were identified. The significance of Mycoplasma in particular is not entirely clear as asymptomatic upper respiratory tract carriage in children is well recognised; similarly in interpreting serology, false

positives can be problematic.

For cases where exposure history was available 65/68 were household contacts of a confirmed adult case. There was no evidence of transmission from children to others.

This data is consistent with larger paediatrics studies demonstrating a milder course of COVID-19 in children compared with adults. Notably co-infection was not uncommon, illustrating that the presence of another respiratory pathogen should not preclude SARS-CoV-2 testing in children.

Abdel-Mannan, OHacohen, YJAMA NeurolNeurologic and Radiographic Findings Associated With COVID-19 Infection in Children01 Jul 2020UKEurope55Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a retrospective case-series from the United Kingdom of children with neurological symptoms, identified from a larger cohort (n = 55) of SARS-CoV-2 positive children. Of the 55 children, 27 had features of paediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome (PIMS-TS) and of these, 4 had neurological symptoms.

Clinical Features: The four children had a median age of 12 years (range 8-15 years) and interestingly, two children were of South Asian ethnicity and two of Afro-Caribbean ethnicity. Of the neurological symptoms reported, encephalopathy (4/4), headache (3/4) and brainstem signs such as dysarthria or dysphagia (2/4) were most common. Peripheral nervous system involvement was present in all patients and included proximal muscle weakness (4/4) and decreased reflexes (2/2). Neurological symptoms occurred alongside a range of systemic symptoms but were part of the initial presentation in 2 children.

Investigations: The four children had a range of investigations, including a lumbar puncture (2/4), EEG (3/4), EMG (3/4), MRI (4/4). The CSF was acellular and SARS-CoV2 negative, mild excess of slow activity was seen on EEG, and EMG showed mild myopathic and neuropathic changes. Interestingly, MRI findings were consistent in all four children, and included signal changes in the splenium of the corpus callosum. Three of the four children also had T2 hyperintense lesions associated with restricted diffusion.

Treatments: Therapeutics given varied. Three children received treatment for PIMS-TS more broadly, including methylprednisolone (2/4), dexamethasone (2/4), IVIG (2/4), anakinra (2/4), and rituximab (1/4).

Outcome: At the time of follow-up (median 18 days, range 11-13 days), 2 patients remain in hospital and have residual lower limb weakness and require a wheelchair to mobilise, and 2 patients have been discharged ambulating without support.

Overall, this paper provides a thorough description of neurological features associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the setting of multisystem inflammation.

Li, JDai, XJ Med Internet ResIdentification of Symptoms Prognostic of COVID-19 Severity: Multivariate Data Analysis of a Case Series in Henan Province30 Jun 2020ChinaAsia12Clinical - Clinical Features
Acker, KHan, JClin Pediatr (Phila)Infectious Diseases Diagnoses of Children Admitted With Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019 During an Outbreak in New York City27 Jun 2020North America North America42Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a retrospective review of children with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 who were admitted at a single institution in New York City from March 12th to March 26th. Forty-two children were identified and had symptoms including fever (31), cough (21), increased work of breathing (17) and rhinorrhoea/congestion (16).

Of the 42 children, 5 (12%) had SARS-CoV-2 on nasopharyngeal swab, 15 (36%) had rhinovirus/enterovirus, 4 (10%) had human metapneumovirus 4, and 4 (10%) had bacterial infections. Overall, majority of children (25; 60%) had an infectious agent identified and were SARS-CoV-2 negative. Of the 5 children with SARS-CoV-2, two were neonates discharged within 72 hours with negative bacterial cultures, one was a 7 year old with MRSA bacteraemia and SARS-CoV-2 bacteraemia, one was a 14 year old with leukaemia who presented with fever, and the final patient had acute respiratory distress and required intubation, but was also positive for rhinovirus/enterovirus.

This small study demonstrates that even in the height of the outbreak in New York City, SARS-CoV-2 was responsible for a minority of admissions in children with respiratory symptoms. This highlights the importance of including SARS-CoV-2 in the list of differential diagnoses but ensuring appropriate investigations for viral and bacterial coinfections.

Götzinger, FTebruegge, MLancetCOVID-19 in children and adolescents in Europe: a multinational, multicentre cohort study25 Jun 2020Europe (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UK)Europe582Clinical - Clinical Features

This European multi centre cohort study recruited from participating centres from  the Paediatric Tuberculosis Network European Trials Groups, to look at 582 cases of paediatric (<18 years old) SARS-CoV-2 infection in 21 countries with 77 healthcare centres. Centres from five additional countries reported no SARS-CoV-2 cases at the time of the study. The breakdown of centres included 454 (78%) tertiary, 54 (9%) secondary and 74 (13%) primary healthcare providers.

Cases were collected retrospectively from known cases prior to 1st April and prospectively between 1-24th April. Diagnosis was made on RT-PCR of SARS-CoV-2 alone. The age group of the population was young, with a median age of 5 (IQR 0.5-12) and 230 (40%) under 2 years of age. Just over half were male (n=311, 53%).

Index case data from history was included, with parents being the suspected index case for 324 patients (56%) and siblings accounting for 24 cases (4%). However a large number of cases (n=234, 40%) were either from someone outside of the immediate family or of unknown transmission.

The most common symptoms patients presented in were fever (n=379, 65%) and respiratory symptoms (n=313, 54% URTI and n=143, 25% LRTI). 128 (2%) had gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and 40 (7%) had GI symptoms without respiratory symptoms. Asymptomatic patients accounted for 16% of all cases (92). There was confirmed viral co-infection in 5% (n=29) of patients. The study did not capture laboratory values. Chest x-ray was performed in 34% (n=198) of patients. Almost half of the x-rays showed findings consistent with pneumonia and ten (5%) of ARDS.

Of the patients in the study, a quarter (145) had pre-existing medical conditions. Twenty nine patients had pre-existing respiratory conditions (asthma accounting for 16) and malignancy was known in 27 patients. The study collected data on antiviral treatments administered however numbers were small and depended on local practice.

Across the cohort 363 patients (62%) required hospital admission, 48 (8%) required ICU admission. Factors increasing risk of ICU admission (n=48) were found to be age <1 month (n=7/48, 14.6%) the presence of any pre-existing medical condition (n=25/48 52%) and presence of lower respiratory tract infection signs at time of presentation (n=35/48, 73%). Mechanical ventilation was required by 25 patients (4%) and echo was used for 1 patient. Data on treatments given included antivirals: hydroxychloroquine (n=40, 7%), remdesivir (n=17, 3%), lopinavir-ritonavir (n=6, 1%) and oseltamivir (n=3, 1%). Other immunomodulators used were corticosteroids in 22 (4%), IvIG in 7 (1%), tocilizumab (n=4, 1%), anakinra (n=3, 1%) and siltuximab (n=1).

There were 4 deaths (0.69%), all of which were in children >10 years of age. Of the four deaths, one was an out of hospital cardiac arrest.

and two had pre-existing medical conditions; one patient had a stem cell transplant 15 months prior and another patient was managed palliatively due to their pre-existing illness. By time of end study 553 patients had made a full recovery and 25 patients had ongoing symptoms.

Overall, this is one of the first multi-national European studies of SARS-CoV-2 in children. Common symptoms included respiratory and fever but gastrointestinal symptoms were present in over one fifth of cases. Although eight percent of children required ICU admission, the case fatality rate was low at 0.69%. Children at greater risk of intensive care admission had pre-existing medical conditions, were less than 1 month old, or presented with lower respiratory tract symptoms. Asymptomatic infection occurred in 16% of cases. Given that at the time of the study, there were varying practices for screening criteria, it is likely that the true proportion of asymptomatic patients is higher (and true case fatality rate lower).

Zheng, G. Guo, Y.Pediatric PulmonologyClinical Characteristics of Acute Respiratory Syndrome with SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Children in South China.24 Jun 2020China Asia52Clinical - Clinical Features
Rossoff, JMuller, WJPediatric blood and cancerBenign course of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection in a series of pediatric oncology patients23 Jun 2020USNorth America6Clinical - Clinical Features
Gonzales Cortes, Rde Carlos-Vicente, JCIntensive Care Med A multicenter national survey of children with SARS-CoV-2 infection admitted to Spanish Pediatric Intensive Care Units22 Jun 2020SpainEurope50Clinical - Clinical Features

The Spanish Paediatric Intensive Care Society have published their findings of 50 children admitted to 47 PICUs in Spain between 1st March 2020 and 1st May 2020 with SARS-CoV-2. More than 90% of PICUs in Spain were represented in this national database. During the study period there were no deaths from SARS-CoV-2 in children admitted to PICU in the participating PICUs.

The authors divided the children into two groups: those requiring ventilation and those not requiring ventilation, to assess for different characteristics between these groups. Fourteen (28%) of the children were ventilated. Twenty-seven (54%) of the 50 children in the study had suspected PIMS-TS; these children were less likely to require mechanical ventilation (4 of the 27 required ventilation) than those without PIMS-TS. Statistical significance between the two groups was found for age (median age of 2.8 years in the ventilated group, compared to 8.6 years in the non-ventilated group); co-morbidities (12, 24%, of the 50 children had comorbidities; 8 of these were ventilated); and clinical presentation with respiratory difficulties or an ARDS-type picture.

Overall, of the 50 children, 23 (46%) had haemodynamic instability, 20 (40%) had respiratory difficulties and 1 (2%) had neurological symptoms. Shock was present in half of the children (25, 50%), renal failure in 8 (15%) and cardiac dysfunction in 17 (34%).Across the 50 children, white cell count (median 9.26, IQR 5.64-14.46), lymphocytes (median 1.02, IQR 0.42-2.59) and CRP (median 13.9, IQR 4.9-27) were not statistically different between ventilated and non-ventilated children.

These are the preliminary findings from this national registry of children with SARS-CoV-2 admitted to PICU in Spain. Further results and analysis will provide more information regarding critically unwell children with COVID-19.

Rosenzweig, JKaicker, SPediatric Blood and CancerSARS‐CoV‐2 infection in two pediatric patients with immune cytopenias: A single institution experience during the pandemic21 Jun 2020USANorth America2Clinical - Clinical Features
Hildenwall HHerleniusActa PaediatricaPaediatric COVID‐19 admissions in a region with open schools during the two first months of the pandemic21 Jun 2020SwedenEurope63Clinical - Clinical Features
Colmenero ITorello ABritish Journal of DermatologySARS‐CoV‐2 endothelial infection causes COVID‐19 chilblains: histopathological, immunohistochemical and ultraestructural study of 7 paediatric cases 20 Jun 2020SpainEurope7Clinical - Clinical Features

Anecdotally, chilblains seem to be associated with Covid-19 in children and young adults. This case series from Madrid describes 7 children (age 11-17) presenting with chilblains on their toes during the pandemic. None had underlying conditions likely to cause chilblains, and in Spain, cold weather wasn’t responsible. The chilblains looked typical, caused only minor pain and itching, and all resolved spontaneously. All had skin biopsies, which showed a variety of inflammatory and vasculitic changes on histology, typical of chilblains: they also looked specifically for SARS-CoV-2 particles in the endothelium of the dermal vessels using immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy and found the virus in all of them.

What is remarkable is that all the children were systemically well, had either mild or no respiratory symptoms; and of the 6 that had nasal and pharyngeal swabs, all were negative for SARS-CoV-2 PCR. Only 4/7 had Covid-19 positive household contacts.The implication is that children can harbour demonstrably invasive coronavirus with minimal symptoms and negative swabs. This has epidemiological as well as clinical significance.

In conclusion, the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the endothelium of dermal vessels in skin biopsies of children and adolescents with acute chilblains confirms that these lesions are a manifestation of COVID-19. Their clinical and histopathological features are similar to those of chilblains of other aetiologies, and virus-induced vascular damage could explain their pathophysiology. Our findings support the hypothesis that widespread endothelial infection by SARS-CoV-2 could have a role in the pathogenesis of severe forms of the disease. More studies are needed to understand the reasons why previously healthy children, adolescents and young adults present

Heinz, NMartinez, MPaediatr TransplantA Case of an Infant with SARS-CoV-2 hepatitis early afterLiver Transplantation19 Jun 2020USANorth America1Clinical - Clinical Features
Xiong, XIp, PJ Pediatr.A Comparison Between Chinese Children Infected with COVID-19 and with SARS18 Jun 2020ChinaAsia244Clinical - Clinical Features

In this study, 244 children with SARS-CoV-2 infection from Wuhan, China are compared to 44 children diagnosed with SARS (SARS-CoV-1) in in Hong Kong in 2003. The clinical details of this series of patients from Wuhan, previously described elsewhere, are compared with those of those of children with SARS-CoV-1. Overall children with SARS-CoV-2 were younger than those with SARS-CoV-1 (median age 82 montsh vs 160 months). Compared with SARS-CoV-1 patients, children with SARS CoV-2 were less likely to have symptoms (20.9% asymptomatic vs 0% of SARS-CoV-1), including fever (40.2% vs 97.7%), myalgia (37.6% vs 0.8%), and chills (32.6% vs 3.7%).

Fewer children with SARS-CoV-2 required supplemental oxygen (4.7% vs 18.6%) and few in either cohort required mechanical ventilation (1.6% vs 2.3%). A single death occurred in a patient with SARS-CoV-2 (a 10 mo with intussusspection) and no cases of PIMS-TS / MIS-C were identified amongst the 244 SARS-CoV-2 infected children from Wuhan.

The most striking difference is the milder clinical illness and relative lack of symptoms in children with SARs-CoV-2 compared with those with SARS-CoV-1. The lack of asymptomatic infections in SARS-CoV-1 is also notable, similar to findings in adults. Whilst the role of asymptomatic patients in the spread of SARS-CoV-2 is unresolved, the milder clinical illness in the majority of patients along with the demonstrated earlier peak in viral shedding relative to symptom onset and resultant role of pre-symptomatic transmission are likely major reasons for the continuing widespread transmission of SARS-CoV-2, where the outbreak of SARS-CoV-1 in 2003 was more readily contained.

Del Barba, P.Barera, G.Pediatr PulmonolCOVID-19 cardiac involvement in a 38-day old infant18 Jun 2020ItalyEurope1Clinical - Clinical Features

First (single) case report of an infant with biochemical and echocardiographic evidence of mild cardiac involvement due to SARS-CoV-2 infection. The 38 day old male infant presented to hospital on 27/03/20. Neither the centre nor the country is identified but is likely to be in Italy. Pregnancy had been unremarkable. No delivery details given. Baby was formula fed. Both mother and father were +ve for SARS-CoV-2. He presented with a fever of 37.6oC and rhinitis but no respiratory distress and did not require oxygen therapy. Nasal and nasopharygeal swabs were +ve for SARS-CoV-2. Haemoglobin, lymphocyte count, CRP, ESR, electrolytes, liver transaminases, INR and PTT were normal. Abnormal results: LDH “mildly increased”, platelet count 525,000/μl, procalcitonin 3.28ng/ml, troponin T 8.2ng/dl, creatine kinase-MB 9.8μg/L, D-dimer 13.3 μg/ml, pro-brain natriuretic hormone 208pg/ml, fibrinogen 1.28g/L. CXR showed increased bronchovascular markings but no parenchymal changes (CT not done). A resting heart rate of 140bpm and a transient peak rate of 200bpm were the only cardiac signs (serial ECGs and 24hr recording). First echocardiogram showed no abnormalities but cardiac MR scan showed a “minimal amount” of pericardial effusion with no myocardial edema. Follow up echo 3 days after the first confirmed a 2mm effusion. A panel of other viruses linked to pulmonary and/or cardiac problems in infants was negative. He required no treatment and was discharged after 14 days. Swabs were -ve 21 and 22 days after presentation.

Meethal, LBKociolek, LKj.pedsSARS-CoV-2 Infection in Infants Less than 90 Days Old17 Jun 2020USANorth America18Clinical - Clinical Features
Ekbatani, M. S.Mamishi, S. British Journal of Biomedical Science Atypical and novel presentations of Coronavirus Disease 2019: a case series of three children.16 Jun 2020Iran Asia3Clinical - Clinical Features
Li, YLi, Jpaediatric pulmunologyImmune-related factors associated with Pneumonia in 127 children with Coronavirus Disease in 2019 in Wuhan.16 Jun 2020chinaAsia127Clinical - Clinical Features
Stewart, DStojanovic, JLancet. Child & adolescent healthRenal dysfunction in hospitalised children with COVID-1915 Jun 2020UKEurope52Clinical - Clinical Features
Ranabothu, SVeerapandiyan, AActa Paediatr.Spectrum of COVID‐19 in Children15 Jun 2020USANorth America1353Clinical - Clinical Features
Lanyon, NPeters, MArch Dis ChildhCritical paediatric COVID-19: varied presentations but good outcomes15 Jun 2020United KingdomEurope11Clinical - Clinical Features

In this letter from Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, 24 children, who tested positive for Covid-19, were admitted to the intensive care unit between 26th March 2020 and 31st May 2020. Thirteen of these had PIMS-TS. This letter describes the clinical features of the remaining 11.

These 11 had a median age of 5 years (range 0.4-11), 9 were boys, 9 had pre-existing medical conditions, and 4 came from the BAME community. The primary presenting feature was cough 6, apnoea 3, fever 10, gastrointestinal 6 and seizures 3 In all 11 inflammatory markers were raised, median ferritin 898 (range 254-1991), CRP 158 (27-449), LDH 1594 (802-4264) D-Dimer 158 (27-449). 4 children fulfilled the criteria for paediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome, the remaining 7 were admitted to PICU for other reason than respiratory failure. A variety of different forms of respiratory support were provided, invasive mechanical ventilation 9, prone position 4, inhaled pulmonary vasodilators 4, HFOV 2 and ECMO none. 5 children received remdesivir and 6 prophylactic anticoagulation.

All 11 children survived to hospital discharge. The authors conclude “While children can present to PICU with a pattern of illness similar to adult COVID-19 disease this is rare and three quarters of them had risk factors for respiratory infection. A larger number were found to be SARS-COV-2 coincidentally.”

Kanthimathinathan, KJyothish, DHospital PediatricsCOVID-19 - a UK Children's Hospital Experience15 Jun 2020UKEurope45Clinical - Clinical Features
Pan, YZhang, LJIDEpidemiological and Clinical Characteristics of 26 Asymptomatic Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Carriers15 Jun 2020ChinaAsia26Clinical - Clinical Features
Lee,HLytrivi,IPediatr TransplantVarying Presentations of COVID-19 in Young Heart Transplant Recipients:a Case Series15 Jun 2020United States of AmericaNorth America4Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a peer reviewed prepublication case report on the experience of Covid-19 among a population of young heart transplant patients from a tertiary centre, Columbia University Irving Medical Centre, New York.

Period Covered: first 3 months of the New York Covid pandemicHospital/Region Covered: the tertiary transplantation programme is one of the largest in the USA covering “hundreds” of patients.

Identification of Patients: 4 patients under the care of the hospital for heart transplantation are included. Case 1 was admitted after referral from secondary care with Covid symptoms and an oxygen requirement.. Cases 2 and 4 presented from home and case 3 was diagnosed during a planned admission for heart biopsy.

Age/Gender: there is a wide age range: case 1 (F)15 years, case 2 (F)25 years, case3 (M)13 months, case 4(F) 29 months.

Comorbidities and immunosuppression: The authors highlight the questions of whether the comorbidities (including immunosuppression) associated with heart transplantation lead to worse outcomes with Covid infection? Also whether immunosuppression has a protective or aggravating effect on outcome and how regimes should be managed?

Two patients (1 and2)also had renal transplants. Case 2 had connective tissue disease (elevated IL-2).

All patients were on various combinations of immunosuppressants (1,2 and 3 on steroids).In only one case (1) was this withheld during infection because of neutropenia.Clinical Features: 3 patients (1,2,3) had symptoms of acute Covid-19 and were nasal/nasopharyngeal positive. Case 1 required supplemental oxygen but no other treatment for 3 days and was then discharged.Cases 2 and 3 did not require admission. Cough: 3/3. Fever: 3/3.Sore throat: 1/3. Abdominal pain: 1/3. All remained well on follow up.

Patient 4 is likely to have had Covid-19 4 weeks prior to admission (symptoms and family history). She presented with a probable post Covid anaemia and hepatitis. She had a rash (acral papular) She was negative on nasal and hepatic Covid assay. Her liver biopsy was consistent with viral hepatitis. Her Covid serology was positive and other viral hepatitis serology negative. She received a blood transfusion

Reported Imaging: CXR:1/4. Normal. Cardiac echo:2/4. No deterioration.

Laboratory: Case1: WCC low 1460/ul, neutropenia (800/ul). ?secondary to immunosuppression or Covid. Elevated inflammatory markers: CRP, ferritin. D-dimer, pro- BNP elevated.

Case 2: no report. Case 3: normal FBC, CRP and LFTs.

Case 4: Hb 6.2 g/dl. Peak ALT elevated 1807 U/L. Peak AST 1070 U/L.

Comment: The centre maintains surveillance (telehealth) of most of it’s patients. Despite possible risk factors of comorbidities and immunosuppression only 4 cases presented. In the acute cases the illness was either mild (2,3) or moderate (1). This is the first report from a paediatric transplant centre and it will be necessary to examine the experience in other centres worldwide.

Case 4 developed hepatitis, anaemia and a rash 4 weeks after probable Covid infection. It is possible that this was Covid related. Viral hepatitis has been reported in a child post liver transplant with acute Covid infection.

Colonna, C.Gelmetti, C.Pediatric dermatologyChilblains in children in the time of Covid‐19: new evidence with serology assay13 Jun 2020ItalyEurope8Clinical - Clinical Features
Kesici,SBayracki,BESCFulminant COVID 19 related Myocarditis in an infant12 Jun 2020TurkeyAsia1Clinical - Clinical Features

Clinical Features: 2 year old previously healthy male in contact with Covid19, hospitalized with nausea, vomiting and lethargy. On Day 2 of admission deteriorated with Respiratory distress, filiform pulse and blood pressure was not measurable. There was hepatomegaly. Child was intubated in PICU, while preparing for ECMO went into cardiac arrest. 30 minutes of CPR was performed. During ECMO biopsy of myocardium was taken.

Radiology: Initial CXR – bilateral interstitial infiltrates. Day 2: CXR Cardiomegaly with pleural effusion. ECHO: Severe heart failure

Bloods: Initial bloods negative for inflammatory markers but Troponin was elevated 30 times normal on Day 2.

PCR for viruses were negative including RT PCR for Sars_COV_2 Myocardial Biopsy showed local inflammation, Positive for RT_PCR for COVID 19

Conclusion: Single case report showing the effect of COVID 19 causing heart failure secondary to myocarditis without Kawasaki like syndrome

Zeng, QLYu, ZJTransbound Emerg DisClinical course and treatment efficacy of COVID-19 near Hubei Province, China: a multicentre, retrospective study12 Jun 2020ChinaAsia3Clinical - Clinical Features
Jafari, RJavanbakht, MTravel Med Infect DisA 6 months old infant with fever, dyspnea and poor feeding, diagnosed with COVID-1911 Jun 2020IranMiddle East1Clinical - Clinical Features
Marhaeni, WR. S. Mapianto,Indian J PediatrThalassemic Child Presenting with Anosmia due to COVID-19.09 Jun 2020Indonesia Asia1Clinical - Clinical Features
González-Dambrauskas, SKarsies, TPediatricsPediatric Critical Care and COVID1909 Jun 2020InternationalInternational17Clinical - Clinical Features

In preprint, González-Dambrauskas et al describe 17 children with COVID-19 admitted to international PICUs in Chile, Colombia, Italy, Spain and USA, in April 2020. These are interim results from the CAKE (Critical Coronavirus And Kids Epidemiologic) Study, recruiting between April and December 2020 from almost 60 PICUS in 20 countries. As well as describing the clinical details of each child in detail, this paper also describes four children with myocarditis associated with covid-19.

The 17 children predominantly presented with cough and fever (53% had cough, 76% had fever). Comorbidities were common in 71% of children, including underlying respiratory, cardiac, renal, liver or neurological disorders. Six children (35%) had gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms at presentation.

Of the four children with myocarditis, all were based in Europe, none had previous cardiac disease, and all presented with fever and GI symptoms. One also had a rash and conjunctivitis. These children all developed myocarditis early in their clinical picture, with average duration of symptoms prior to presentation of 3.5 days. All four children received IVIG. Three of these children also required inotropic support; one child also developed ARDS and acute kidney in addition to myocarditis, requiring non-invasive ventilation but not renal replacement therapy. None of the four children with myocarditis required mechanical ventilation. All four children survived to discharge home, with a mean hospital length of stay of 13.5 days.

Cen YLiu Y HClin Infect Dis.Risk factors for disease progression in patients with mild to moderate coronavirus disease 2019 - a multi-centre observational study.08 Jun 2020ChinaAsia5Clinical - Clinical Features
MAK, PQKwan, MPediatr.Infect.Dis.J.Anosmia and Ageusia : not an uncommon presentation of COVID-19 infection in children and adolescents.08 Jun 2020USANorth America3Clinical - Clinical Features
Trogen, BShust, GPed. Infectious Disease J.COVID-19-Associated Myocarditis in an Adolescent08 Jun 2020USANorth America1Clinical - Clinical Features

This case report details the admission to PICU of a 17-year-old obese male (BMI 30kg/m2) with spondylolysis and a distant history of asthma (not requiring medication for > 5 yrs) who presented to a hospital in New York City during the third week of April with septic shock, after a week’s history of fever, GI symptoms and neck pain.

Clinical features: 7 day history of fever and neck pain and a 6 day history of diarrhoea and vomiting (non-bloody, non-bilious). No neck stiffness, headache, photophobia or respiratory symptoms. At presentation he was febrile, tachycardic and hypotensive (79/66 mmHg) with diffuse abdominal pain. His cardiovascular status remained labile after initial fluid resuscitation and he was admitted to PICU.

Initial bloods: Lymphocytes 0.9 x 103/L, CRP 167 mg/L, ferritin 1275 ng/mL, D-dimer 1218 ng/mL, initial Troponin I level 2.97 ng/mL rising to 6.17 ng/mL 2 hrs later, brain natriuretic peptide 2124 pg/mL, sodium 128 mmol/L, creatinine 1.25 mg/dL, creatine kinase 761 U/L, LDH 346 U/L, INR 1.5, IL-6 28 pg/mL

Microbiology: Nasopharyngeal swab RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 positive. Other respiratory and GI pathogen PCRs negative, including enterovirus, adenovirus, CMV, EBV, HHV-6, parvovirus B19.

Radiology: Abdominal USS essentially normal. CXR: low lung volumes, normal cardiothymic silhouette and mild, hazy ground glass opacities at the lower lobes bilaterally.

ECG: T-wave inversion particularly in inferior leads.

Cardiac imaging: Initial transthoracic echocardiogram: LV ejection fraction mildly depressed with no obvious intracardiac clots or pericardial effusion. Cardiac MRI: normal sized LV & RV, LVEF 40%, RVEF 39%, area of mid-wall late gadolinium enhancement at inferior LV-RV junction corresponding to area of increased T2 signal as well as an area of hypokinesia, consistent with myocarditis.

Treatment in PICU: Blood pressure normalised on day 1, but remained febrile and tachycardic until day 4. Required 2 days of oxygen via NC. Received anticoagulation, paracetamol/ibuprofen and 48 hrs of piperacillin/tazobactam until blood cultures reported negative. No other anti-inflammatories or IVIg given. Initially started on hydroxychloroquine which was stopped on day 3 when serial ECG demonstrated prolonged QTc interval not present initially. Serial Troponin I and BNP levels normalised by discharge.

Outcome: Discharged on day 5 with 2 week course of anticoagulation (apixaban). Echocardiogram at follow-up one week after discharge demonstrated normal ejection fraction (59%) with qualitatively improved function. However, tissue Doppler imaging signals of the mitral valve annulus were still abnormally diminished with low global longitudinal strain rate, consistent with residual myocardial dysfunction. Repeat ECG showed persistent T-wave inversion in lead III.

The authors conclude with a discussion of the possible mechanisms of cardiac injury secondary to COVID-19, including viral entry via the ACE2 receptor causing direct damage to myocardiocytes, immune-mediated injury secondary to cytokine release or T-cell dysregulation, microvascular damage, endothelial shedding/dysfunction, hypoxia-mediated injury and abnormal coagulation, including DIC, increasing the risk of thrombosis and ischaemic events.

Du, WQ. LiJ Infect Public HealthPersistence of SARS-CoV-2 virus RNA in feces: A case series of children07 Jun 2020ChinaAsia10Clinical - Clinical Features
Chen, YXiao, XJ Infect Public HealthRe-evaluation of retested nucleic acid-positive cases in recovered COVID-19 patients: Report from a designated transfer hospital in Chongqing, China07 Jun 2020ChinaAsia4Clinical - Clinical Features
Foster, CCampbell, JJ Pediatric Infect Dis Soc.Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Children Cared for at Texas Children’s Hospital: Initial Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes06 Jun 2020USANorth America57Clinical - Clinical Features
Xing, CXu, ZWorld J Clin Cases Serial computed tomographic findings and specific clinical features of pediatric COVID-19 pneumonia: A case report06 Jun 2020ChinaAsia1Clinical - Clinical Features
Li, C. Wu, B Medicine A 3-month-old child with COVID-19: A case report.05 Jun 2020China Asia1Clinical - Clinical Features
Sun, D., XLiu, Z., SWorld Journal of Pediatrics SARS-CoV-2 infection in infants under 1 year of age in Wuhan City, China05 Jun 2020ChinaAsia36Clinical - Clinical Features
Gorkem,SCetin,BDiagn Interv RadiolCOVID-19 pneumonia in a Turkish child presenting with abdominal complaints and reversed halo sign on thorax CT05 Jun 2020TurkeyEurope1Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a case report of a 15 year old girl with Covid-19 from Turkey in an Epublished letter ahead of print with an early description of the “reversed halo sign”(RHS) on chest CT scan in. RHS is described as a central ground glass opacity (due to septal alveolar inflammation) surrounded by denser granulomatous airspace consolidation in the shape of a crescent or ring. It was identified in adult Covid -19 patients in early studies from Wuhan.

The patient presented with abdominal pain (epigastric tenderness). She had no respiratory symptoms and was apyrexial. Covid-19 was identified on nasopharyngeal swab. WCC 4.01x109, lymphocytes 1.92x109, CRP 1.6 mg/l rising to 10 mg/l after five days. Oxygen saturation remained above 95% in air.

Initial abdominal CT identified bilateral patchy alveolar infiltrates in the lower lobes and so an unenhanced low-dose thorax CT was performed. This identified multi focal RHS lesions within bilateral upper, middle and lower lobes. There were multiple multisegmental peripherally located alveolar infiltrations and scattered ground glass opacities.

The patient received hydroxy chloroquine. Interestingly, she did not develop any respiratory symptoms, making an uneventful recovery and was discharged after 8 days.RHS is a distinctive sign on chest CT. As well as occurring in pneumonia (including community acquired pneumonia) it can also be associated with fungal infections, immunosuppression, pneumocystis, TB, sarcoidosis, pulmonary neoplasms and pulmonary infarction. Therefore it can pose diagnostic challenges and management is guided by the clinical history. Although RHS is recognised in the adult Covid-19 literature this is a first report in a paediatric patient.

Mohammadi, A Mirza‑Aghazadeh‑Attari, MJpn J RadiolClinical and radiological characteristics of pediatric patients with COVID-19: focus on imaging findings04 Jun 2020IranMiddle East27Clinical - Clinical Features
Kerber, AYoussef, MIntnl J of DermatologyChilblains-like dermatologic manifestation of COVID-19 diagnosed by serology via multidisciplinary virtual care04 Jun 2020USANorth America1Clinical - Clinical Features
Lin, EShah, AJAMA SurgeryIncidence of COVID-19 in Pediatric Surgical Patients Among 3 US Children’s Hospitals04 Jun 2020USANorth America12Clinical - Clinical Features
Zachariah, PSalman, LJAMA PediatricsEpidemiology, Clinical Features, and Disease Severity in Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a Children’s Hospital in New York City, New York03 Jun 2020USANorth America50Clinical - Clinical Features
Wu, HXiang, YJAMA Netw OpenClinical and Immune Features of Hospitalized Pediatric Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Wuhan, China03 Jun 2020ChinaAsia157Clinical - Clinical Features

In this retrospective case series from Wuhan, China, the clinical and immunological characteristics of children admitted to hospital with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection are examined. Details are provided for the 148 children with mild or moderate disease.

The median age was 84 months (IQR 18-123). Fever (40.5%) and cough (44.6%) and vomiting or diarrhoea (21.6%) were the most common symptoms. SARS-CoV-2 PCR became negative at a median of 7 days (IQR 4-11 days).

Lymphopenia was present in only 4.5% of patients; CD 4 lymphopenia in 1.9%. Elevation in CRP (32.4%) and procalcitonin (47.3% elevated; median 0.05 (IQR 0.04-0.08)) was observed in fewer than half of patients. Liver transaminases and LDH were significantly higher in moderate versus mild cases but the vast majority of levels fell within normal range.

Levels of inflammatory cytokines including IL2, IL6, TNG-a and IFN.y were largely normal; the authors note that one patient with severe disease had elevated IL-6 (3869 pg/mL). IL-10 was increased in 14%.No deaths occurred amongst mild and moderate cases and all 148 patients were discharged.

In this large case series of children with mild or moderated SARS-CoV-2 infection, laboratory measures of inflammation were largely normal. Specifically the significant elevations in IL-6, D-dimer, and ferritin characteristic of severe COVID-19 in adults and also PIMS-TS / MIS-C in children were absent in these milder cases. The authors postulate that the relative preservation of CD4 T-cells and the higher levels of IL-10 compared with adults with severe COVID-19 may indicate these as important components of a protective immune response.

As yet our understanding of the drivers of variation in individual immune response to SARS-CoV-2 remains incomplete.

Parri,NLazzerini,MEur J Pediatr Characteristic of Covid-19 infection in paediatric patients: early findings from two Italian Pediatric Research Networks 03 Jun 2020Delayed access or provision of care in Italy resulting from fear of COVID-19Europe130Clinical - Clinical Features

This study is published as a short communication describing the clinical presentations and outcomes in children with identified Covid-19 in 61 centres in Italy between 3rd and 26 March 2020.Study Design: A retrospective study coordinated by the CONFIDENCE and COVID-19 Italian Paediatric Study Network’s involving 53(86.9%) hospitals and 8(13.1%) outpatient centres in 10 mainly northern regions. All children (0-18 years) diagnosed positive on screening and testing for Covid-19 by nasal/nasopharyngeal RT-PCR assay were entered into the study. Clinical, laboratory and imaging data was collected on standardised forms.

Study Population: 130 children and adolescents recruited (112 hospital;18 outpatient). <2 years 41 (31.5%), 2-9 years 35 (26.9%)’10-17 years 45 (34.6%). Male 73 (56.2%). Female 57(43.8%) p=0.47.Comorbidities 34 (26.2%) most frequent cardiovascular, respiratory and neuromuscular. No information on ethnicity. One patients data unobtainable.

Disease Severity: The majority of subjects were categorised as being asymptomatic or having mild disease 98/130 (75.4%). 11 (8.5%) were moderate severity, 11 severe and 9 (6.9%).critical. 75 (57.7%)were hospitalised with 15.(11,5%)needing respiratory support (5 needing oxygen, 2 non invasive ventilation and 2 mechanical ventilation). 9 cases were admitted to ICU with 6 being less than 6 months. 3 of the latter were less than 2 months and did not require respiratory support. Children less than 6 months had an increased risk of critical disease than older children: 6/35 (17.1%) vs 3/86 (3.5%) p=0.34. OR 5.6 CI 1.3 to 29.1.

Symptoms: Common symptoms were fever 67(51.5%), dry cough 38(29.2%) and productive cough 16(12.3%). Other symptoms were rhinorrhoea25(19.2%), respiratory distress 17(13%), vomiting 15(11.5%);diarrhoea 10(7.6%); sore throat 9(6.9%). Thoracic pains (3%), somnolence, febrile convulsions (1.5%) and lower limb pains (1.5%) were reported as novel symptoms.

Oxygen saturation at presentation: 91-92% 1(0.8%). <90 1(0.8)

Radiology: 41 (31.5%) of children had CXRs. These were normal in 15 (36.6%). The commonest abnormalities were ground-glass opacities in 17 (41.5%). Focal consolidation was seen in 4 (9.8%). Laboratory: 71 children were reported to have had laboratory tests. The authors report leukopenia (WCC %<5.5x109) and lymphopenia (<1.2x109) in 7/19 patients and 3/19 patients, respectively. They report elevation in aspartate transaminase >50U/l in 11/60 (18.3%) and alanine tranasaminase >45U/l in 8/68 (11.8%).

Outcomes: There were no deaths and all children were reported to have recovered. Comment: The study obtained data on all but one child found Covid-19 positive in this largely hospital based population. The authors acknowledge that there is a bias toward more ill patients with their population than community studies and this may explain the 57.7% admission rate. Also this is reflected in the amount of comorbidity. However, the majority of patients were either asymptomatic or had mild disease and small numbers required respiratory support or ITU. The authors identify the increased likelihood of critical disease in those less than 6 months and their being the majority of ICU cases. They also comment on new presenting symptoms (thoracic pain, somnolence, febrile convulsions and lower limb pains).

Pandey UDien Bard JMedRxIVPediatric COVID-19 in Southern California: clinical features and viral genetic diversity02 Jun 2020CaliforniaNorth America35Clinical - Clinical Features

A study of 35 children age range 18 days to 18.5 years (median12.5), 57% of whom were boys, seen over an 8 week period in Southern California. Patients were identified by nasopharyngeal swabs submitted to Los Angeles Children’s Hospital between 11 March 2020 and 11 May 2020. 37% were hospitalised with a median inpatient stay of 4 days. Symptoms were diverse with fever and cough being the most common, 1/3 were symptomless. Whole genome sequencing was undertaken on Covid-19 samples. There was an association between disease severity and viral load. Children < 5 years age had a higher viral load and all were symptomatic. There was limited variation in the viral genome though a calculated evolutionary rate was like other RNA viruses. No correlation was identified between disease severity and genetic variation.

Frauenfelder, CBamford APediatricsInfant With SARS-CoV-2 Infection Causing Severe Lung Disease Treated With Remdesivir01 Jun 2020United KingdomEurope1Clinical - Clinical Features
Escalera-Antezana, JP Rodríguez-Morales, AJLe Infezioni in MedicinaRisk factors for mortality in patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Bolivia: An analysis of the first 107 confirmed cases01 Jun 2020BoliviaInternational9Clinical - Clinical Features
Manzoni, P Polastri, RoThe Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal: Uncommon Presentation of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Infection in a Child 01 Jun 2020italyEurope1Clinical - Clinical Features
Jones, B. A. ." . Slater, B. J. Journal of Pediatric Surgery Case ReportsNon-operative management of acute appendicitis in a pediatric patient with concomitant COVID-19 infection31 May 2020USANorth America1Clinical - Clinical Features
Alsofayan, YAssiri, AJ Infect Public HealthClinical characteristics of COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia: A national retrospective study31 May 2020Saudi ArabiaMiddle East74Clinical - Clinical Features
Valente, PBuzzonetti, LJournal of AAPOSOcular manifestations and viral shedding in tears of pediatric patients with coronavirus disease 2019: a preliminary report30 May 2020ItalyEurope27Clinical - Clinical Features

27 paediatric patients were identified between 16/03/2020 – 15/04/2020, from Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, Rome, Italy. It was not clear how patients were identified/recruited. The mean age was 84 months (range=8 days to 210 months). 74% were male (n=20); 26% were female (n=7).

Clinical features present: - Cough and/or dyspneoa = 15 patients (56%); - Vomiting and/or diarrhoea = 8 patients (30%); - Ocular manifestations consistent with viral conjunctivitis = 4 patients (15%);

In the abstract it states that "At admission, all patients showed ocular manifestations", however there is no other reference to further information in the paper.Radiology/bloods: N/a

Other investigations: Nasopharyngeal swab to COVID-19 tested positive in all 27 patients.Of the 4 patients with apparent viral conjunctivitis, 1 patient resulted positive for SARS-CoV-2 on RT-PCR from conjunctival swab.Of the other patients (n=23), two more patients had positive findings for SARS-CoV-2 in their conjunctival swab without developing clinical signs of conjunctivitis.Outcomes: 27 (100%) discharges. Other salient features: Some preliminary evidence to suggest that SARS-CoV-2 shedding is low in eye secretions/tears.

Olisova, OYShnakhova, LMDermatol TherCutaneous manifestations in COVID‐19: a skin rash in a child30 May 2020RussiaEastern Europe and Northern Asia1Clinical - Clinical Features
Cai, JHe, GJ Med VirolClinical features and the treatment of children with COVID-19: a case series from Wenzhou, China30 May 2020ChinaAsia3Clinical - Clinical Features
Kakuya, FKinebuchi, TJapanese Journal of Infectious DiseasesThe first pediatric patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Japan; The risk of co-infection with other respiratory viruses29 May 2020JapanAsia3Clinical - Clinical Features
Zhao, WZhang, FClin PediatrCharacteristics of Children With Reactivation of SARS-CoV-2 Infection After Hospital Discharge28 May 2020ChinaAsia14Clinical - Clinical Features

In this study from Beijing, China, serial nasopharyngeal swabs were performed on children discharged between January 21st and April 18th 2020 following hospital admission with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Criteria for hospital discharge included clinical improvement and 2 negative RT-PCR tests for SARS-CoV-2 on consecutive nasopharyngeal swabs. Follow up swabs were performed fortnightly following discharge; the authors report on children with subsequent positive RT-PCR on follow up.

In total 14 children were followed, 7 of whom had a subsequent positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR result, none of whom had significant symptoms at the time (one with a temperature of 37.5). There were no significant clinical or laboratory differences between the group with subsequent positive tests compared with those who remained negative.

The authors refer to those who have subsequent positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR as having "reactivation" of infection. This is a misnomer as the persistent shedding of viral RNA has been well recognised in adult studies. This includes a large cohort of over 200 patients from Korea with positive tests following negative PCR results, similar to the children in this study. Importantly no onward transmission from these "re-positive" cases was found amongst 790 contacts in the Korean cohort, suggesting the viral RNA detected in patients with prolonged shedding is not viable. Indeed in a recent in vitro study including 90 SARS-CoV-2 PCR positive samples, only samples taken within 8 days of symptoms onset were capable of infecting cells. This is in keeping with contact tracing data suggesting peak transmissibility occurs before and immediately after symptom onset with limited transmission beyond 5 days of symptom onset.

The likely explanation of the "reactivation" described here is prolonged shedding of non-viable viral RNA with an interim "false negative" samples prior to hospital discharge. Given the available data, it is unlikely that these "re-positive" discharged patients represent an infection risk to others

Oualha, MRenolleau, SArchives de PédiatrieSevere and fatal forms of COVID-19 in children28 May 2020FranceEurope27Clinical - Clinical Features

The 27 children described here constitute the biggest series to date of children sick enough to need high dependency care during active COVID infection. The criteria for admission were oxygen requirement > 1L/min or underlying disease.

The cohort of 27 were admitted within days of onset of first symptoms and 24 were positive for COVID-19 by PCR of nasal swabs. This is consistent with active virus, rather than PIMS-TS, the Kawasaki like post-COVID syndrome.

24 had respiratory disease, mostly with radiological or CT findings consistent with COVID. 6 had cardiovascular disease and 4 renal problems.

9 required invasive ventilation with median duration 5 days. 10 received non-invasive ventilation and 23 were treated with oxygen. 4 received catecholamines, one ECMO and one renal replacement therapy. The median length of hospital stay was 6 days.

Mean laboratory findings in the group were of elevated CRP, procalcitonin, fibrinogen and D-dimers, consistent with an inflammatory and prothrombotic state. Neutrophil and lymphocyte counts were normal. T cell subsets and cytokine levels were not measured. 70% had underlying conditions, but the spectrum was different from adult experience, with neurological and respiratory problems or sickle cell disease being most common.Three of the five who died had previously been in good health. A teenage girl whose clinical course was suggestive of the cytokine storm seen in adults died within hours of admission. A teenage boy and a 6 year old girl co-infected with other pathogens both died after long PICU stays.

This description confirms that severe illness is rare in children with COVID and shows that even those admitted for HDU care had a shorter illness and better prognosis than that seen in adults. Nonetheless, occasional children do suffer a prolonged illness with multi-organ dysfunction.

Garcia-Salido, ASerrano-Gonzalez, APediatr Crit Care MedChildren in Critical Care Due to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Infection: Experience in a Spanish Hospital27 May 2020SpainEurope7Clinical - Clinical Features
Kumar, KJayanthi, CRIJOPresence of viral RNA of SARS-CoV-2 in conjunctival swab specimens of COVID-19 patients25 May 2020IndiaAsia4Clinical - Clinical Features
Gefen, AMSethna, CPediatric NephrologyPediatric COVID-19-associated rhabdomyolysis: a case report23 May 2020USANorth America1Clinical - Clinical Features
Torrelo AColmenero IPaediatric DermatologyErythema multiforme-like lesions in children and COVID-1923 May 2020ItalyEurope4Clinical - Clinical Features
Armann, J.Berner, R.Dtsch Arztebl IntHospital Admission in Children and Adolescents With COVID-1922 May 2020GermanyEurope128Clinical - Clinical Features
Docherty, ASemple, MBMJFeatures of 20133 UK patients in hospital with covid-19 using the ISARIC WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol: prospective observational cohort study22 May 2020United KingdomEurope310Clinical - Clinical Features
de Ceano-Vivas, MCalvo CArch Dis ChildSARS-CoV-2 infection in ambulatory and hospitalised Spanish children22 May 2020SpainEurope58Clinical - Clinical Features

Study design: A retrospective case series of all children seen at a tertiary centre, who were found to have positive PCR for SARS-CoV-2. Testing for SARS-CoV-2 was only conducted in those children who had respiratory symptoms and “criteria for hospitalisation” or who had “underlying chronic pathology”. Children with mild symptoms were not tested even if there was a confirmed case in the household. Comparisons were made between the characteristics of those admitted to hospital and those treated as outpatients. The study was conducted between March 11th and April 9th 2020 at Hospital La Paz, Madrid, Spain.

Inclusion criteria: All children who underwent PCR for SARS-CoV-2 in nasopharyngeal smear, N=349. Of whom 58 (16.6%) had a positive PCR and were the cases analysed.

Key findings: Of the 58 cases: Male 37 (63.8%), Median age 35.5 months (range 3.3-146), Underlying conditions 23 (39.7%), Temperature >39.7degC 41 (70.7%), Cough 42 (72.4%), Rhinorrhoea 33 (56.9%), Breathing difficulty 10 (17.2%), Vomiting 9 (15.5%), Headache 8 (13.8%), Loss of taste 1 (1.7%), Anosmia 1 (1.7%).

Radiology: 40 (69%) had a CXR of which 35 (87.5%) were abnormal: Perihilar infiltrates, ground glass pattern, lobar or multilobar consolidation.

Bloods: 43 (74.1%) had a blood test, median WCC 9145/mm3, median lymphocyte count 2390/mm3.Outcomes: 33 were hospitalised and 25 were treated as outpatients. Of the inpatients, 14 (42.4%) received oxygen therapy for a median of 3 days. 5 were admitted to the PICU (15% of those hospitalised): 3 with severe COVID-19, 1 with a hypertensive crisis and 1 with diabetic ketoacidosis. 31 (53.4%) were treated with hydroxychloroquine, 3 patients were treated with remdesivir. 2 patients with an inflammatory syndrome were also treated with tocilizumab. There was 1 death of a 5/12 old infant with dilated cardiomyopathy and Hurler’s syndrome. The comparisons between the inpatient and outpatient group provide almost no additional useful information.

Comment: As the authors concede, the retrospective nature of the study is a significant weakness. Patients were selected for testing on the basis of symptoms and/or underlying conditions and many other children who could have been infected were never tested. The study is useful in describing the range of symptoms, treatment and outcome in the large selected group of children who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. It does not, however, add anything new to what is already known about the condition in children.

Scheier, EBalla, UEur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci Lung ultrasound cannot be used to screen for Covid-19 in children21 May 2020IsraelMiddle East1Clinical - Clinical FeaturesCOVID-19 Associated Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome
Li, BYu, CIndian PediatricsRadiographic and Clinical Features of Children With Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pneumonia21 May 2020ChinaAsia22Clinical - Clinical Features
Leung, CLeung, CPediatric PulmonologyClinical characteristics of COVID‐19 in children: Are they similar to those of SARS?21 May 2020China Asia43Clinical - Clinical Features
Zachariah, PGreen, DClin Infect DisSymptomatic Infants have Higher Nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 Viral Loads but Less Severe Disease than Older Children20 May 2020USANorth America57Clinical - Clinical Features

This research letter details the viral loads of children with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection from Columbia University Irving Medical Centre in New York. All children admitted and discharged between March 14th to April 24th 2020 were included, timing of test relative to onset of symptoms, clinical severity along with viral load were compared between infants <1yo and children >1yo.Of 57 patients with positive SARSCoV-2 PCR, 20 (35%) were under 1yo. Compared with older children, viral load was higher amongst infants <1yo (mean cycle threshold 21.05 vs 27.25, p<0.01 - where lower cycle threshold=greater viral load). Infants were tested earlier on average (2 vs 3.8 days from symptom onset) and fewer had severe disease compared with older children (5% vs 32.4%).

In this small hospital-based study symptomatic infants appear were found to have higher viral loads and milder disease compared with older children. This is in contrast to data from some adult studies where a higher viral load correlated with more severe illness.

Amongst several possible explanations for this observation are that:- infants were more likely to be tested early in illness when viral load peaks - declining thereafter- thresholds for hospital presentation may differ between infants and older children- test performance and sample quality may differ between infants and older children- there may possibly be differences in host biology according to age

Although some data suggest that higher SARS-CoV-2 viral load is associated with the presence of viable virus / in vitro infectivity, the exact implications of the findings here in terms of risk of transmission from infants compared with older children is unclear. Further studies examining SARS-CoV-2 viral load dynamics and correlation with clinical course in children are required to better understand potential variation between different age groups.

Venturini, EGalli, LJ PaediatrSevere neutropenia in infants with severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by the novel coronavirus 2019 infection 19 May 2020ItalyEurope2Clinical - Clinical Features

This case report from the Meyer Children University Hospital, Florence, published as a letter describes two infants with SARS-CoV-2 with transient severe neutropenia (<0.5 x109/l) Clinical Features: The two female infants, aged 23 days and 39 days were admitted with mild respiratory symptoms and low grade fever. Nasopharyngeal swans were positive for Covid-19. There was no clinical deterioration in their condition during admission.

Radiology: not described

Treatment: not described.

Haematology: leukocytes and neutrophils normal on admission. At 5 days neutrophil counts fell to 0.244 x 109/lnand 0.482 x 109/l. Subsequently both improved.

Apart from age and gender there is no other demographic information nor any on treatments.Although neutropenia is described in 6% of cases of Covid-19, severe neutropenia has not been described. In the report cases it was not associated with any change in clinical state. The authors suggest consideration of performing FBCs 5 to 7 days into the illness to identify neutropenia.It requires further studies to see if these findings are replicated and whether they are clinically significant. The severity of the neutropenia could be age dependent reflecting bone marrow maturity as one patient was in the neonatal range and the other just beyond it.

Xiong XTam, PGutComparative study of the clinical characteristics and epidemiological trend of 244 COVID-19 infected children with or without GI symptoms19 May 2020china Asia244Clinical - Clinical Features
Dallan, CSahyoun, CLancetSeptic shock presentation in adolescents with COVID -1919 May 2020SwitzerlandEurope3Clinical - Clinical Features
Giacomet, VZuccotti, GPIDJAcute inflammation and elevated cardiac markers in a two-month-old infant with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection presenting with cardiac symptoms 19 May 2020ItalyEurope1Clinical - Clinical Features
Dugue, RMishra, NNeurologyNeurologic manifestations in an infant with COVID-1919 May 2020USANorth America1Clinical - Clinical Features
Shaw, RYuki, KJ Pediatr Surg Case Rep.Intubation precautions in a pediatric patient with severe COVID-1918 May 2020USANorth America1Clinical - Clinical Features
Guarneri, CNunnari, GThe Lancet, Infection diseasesSilent COVID-19: what your skin can reveal18 May 2020Italy (assumed) Europe3Clinical - Clinical Features
Yoo, SKim, D Pediatrics InternationalReactivation of SARS-CoV-2 after Recovery18 May 2020KoreaAsia1Clinical - Clinical Features
Li, YWu, BBMC PediatricsChest CT imaging characteristics of COVID-19 pneumonia in preschool children: a retrospective study18 May 2020ChinaAsia8Clinical - Clinical Features
Turbin, RNimchimsky, EOrbitOrbital cellulitis, sinusitis and intracranial abnormalities in two adolescents with COVID-1918 May 2020USANorth America2Clinical - Clinical Features
Wang, Y.Li, L.The Journal of Infectious DiseasesClinical Outcomes in 55 Patients With Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Who Were Asymptomatic at Hospital Admission in Shenzhen, China17 May 2020ChinaAsia15Clinical - Clinical Features
Voinsky, IGurwitz,DJ Infect.COVID-19 Associated Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome. J Paediatric Infect Dis Soc16 May 2020IsraelMiddle East933Clinical - Clinical Features

In this case report from Detroit, USA, the authors describe a 6yo girl with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 and PIMS-TS / MIS-C requiring ECMO.

Following initial presentation with fever, sore throat and rash, the patient developed refractory hypotension and incomplete features of Kawasaki disease (conjunctivitis, rash, swollen peripheries). Inflammatory markers were elevated (CRP 450 mg/L, ESR 54mm/hr, ferritin 699.5 ng/mL) as were troponin (114ng/L), D-dimer (4.21 mg/L), and fibrinogen (834 mg/dL). Echocardiography showed decreased LV function and bloods demonstrated acute kidney injury (creatinine 1.09mg/dL). SARS-CoV-2 RT PCR was positive from a nasopharyngeal swab; earlier in the illness a group A streptococcal rapid test was positive (NP swab).

Despite inotropic support, the patient's condition deteriorated requiring VA ECMO. IVIG, aspirin and antibiotics (vancomycin, ceftriaxone and clindamycin) were given with gradual clinical and biochemical improvement. The authors also allude to incomplete KD like illness in two other patients at their centre with COVID-19 - both with less severe presentations and recovery following IVIG.

This case adds to a growing number of reports of PIMS-TS / MIS-C in children, highlighting the potential for rapid deterioration in this rare condition and the possible role of IVIG in cases with features of Kawasaki Disease.

Duramaz, BTurel, ODermatol TherAppearance of Skin Rash in Pediatric Patients with COVID-19: Three Case Presentations15 May 2020TurkeyWestern Asia, Southeastern Europe20Clinical - Clinical Features
Diotallevi, FOffidani, AJ Med VirolSkin Involvement in SARS-CoV-2 Infection: Case Series15 May 2020ItalyEurope2Clinical - Clinical Features
He, GCai, JIndian PediatricsSerial Computed Tomography Findings in a Child with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pneumonia15 May 2020ChinaAsia1Clinical - Clinical Features
Mastrolonardo, MFoti, CDermatologic TherapyThe management of the outbreak of acral skin manifestationsin asymptomatic children during COVID-19 era14 May 2020ItalyEurope38Clinical - Clinical Features
Craver, RFinger, LFetal Pediatr PatholFatal Eosinophilic Myocarditis in a Healthy 17-Year-Old Male with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2c)13 May 2020USANorth America1Clinical - Clinical Features
Cordoro, KMMcCalmont, THPediatric DermatologyClustered Cases of Acral Perniosis: Clinical Features, Histopathology and Relationship to COVID‐1912 May 2020USNorth America6Clinical - Clinical Features
DeBiasi, RWessel, DJ Pediatr.Severe COVID-19 in Children and Young Adults in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Region12 May 2020United StatesNorth America177Clinical - Clinical Features

This is retrospective cohort study, describing 177 children and young adults with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection treated between March 15 and April 30 2020 at Children’s National Hospital, Washington DC US. Children and young adults were detected through symptomatic presentation at emergency departments, ambulatory clinics, inpatient units, or by referral for admission from external facilities. Of 177 patients, 44 (25%) were hospitalised, with 9 (5%) classified as critically ill. The aim of the study was to identify if any specific epidemiological or clinical features associated with hospitalisation, or critical care.

Of note this hospital served as a regional centre for providing critical care for young adults aged 21 – 35 years, therefore not all patients would be termed “paediatric patients”. Overall patient age range was from 0.1 - 34.2 years, with a median of 9.6years. Of the total group 12/177 were > 20 years of age, and 37/177 were between age of 15 – 20years.

Results: Age; There was no significant difference in age between the hospitalised and non-hospitalised patients, however in the hospitalised cohort, the critically unwell group were significantly older than the non-critically unwell hospitalised group (17.3 years versus 3.6 years; P =.04) Sex; There was equal representation in total cohort showed (n = 177 52% male, 48% female), as well as the hospitalised cohort (n=44 50% male, 50% female). However males made up 67% of the critically ill cohort (n =9, 67% male, 33% female); but this was not statistically significant (p=0.26)Race/ethnicity: data not provided, authors describe plans to do so in follow up analysis Underlying conditions; 39% of positive patients had an underlying condition (classified as asthma, diabetes, neurological, obesity, cardiac, haematological, oncological). Though asthma was the most common underlying condition (35/177 20%), it was not more common in hospitalised patients (7/44 16%), nor of those admitted, those who were critically unwell (2/9, 22%). Though the numbers where small, specific underlying conditions such as neurological, cardiac, haematological, or oncological underlying conditions were more common in the hospitalised cohort than the non hospitalised cohort. But were not more common in the hospitalised critically ill compared with the hospitalised non critically ill. The authors noted there was no underlying condition present in 96/177 (55%) of overall SARS-CoV-2 infected patients overall, 16/44 (37%) of hospitalized patients and in 2/9 (22%) of critically ill patients.Symptoms; 76% of infected patients presented with respiratory symptoms (rhinorrhea, congestion, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath) with or without fever. Fever was present in 116/177 (66%) but was not more common in the infected hospitalized cohort (34/44, 77%) compared with the non-hospitalized cohort (82/133, 62%; p=0.46). 

Shortness of breath was more common in the hospitalized cohort (11/44, 26%) compared with non-hospitalized (16/133, 12%; p=0.04). Patients in the critically ill cohort were not more likely to have fever or any other specific symptom compared with the non-critically ill cohort.

Critical Care: 9 patients required critical care; which represented 5% (9/177) of total cohort and 20% (9/44) of admitted patients. 4 required intubation (3 ARDS, 2 multiple organ failure); 3 required BiPAP, 1 RAM cannula and 1 High flow nasal cannula. One patient had features consistent with the recently emerged Kawasaki disease-like presentation with hyper-inflammatory state, hypotension and profound myocardial depression; a 4 year male with no underlying conditions.

Summary: A very clear description of 177 patients with Sars CoV 2, in one large centre in Washington DC. 25% of patients needed hospitalisation and 5 % needed critical care. Older teenagers and adults who required admission, were then overrepresented in requiring critical care. Though underlying conditions were more common in hospitalised patients, they were not significantly more common in the hospitalised patients who required critical care. Shortness of breath was the only symptom that was more common in hospitalised patients than non-hospitalised patients. No specific symptom was more apparent in patients needing critical care. One critically ill patient had features of recently described hyperinflammatory state.

Bai, KLi, CPIDJClinical analysis of 25 Novel Coronavirus Infections in Children 12 May 2020China Asia25Clinical - Clinical Features
Brambilla, IMarseglia, GLThe Pediatric Infectious Disease JournalCOVID-19 in the Pediatric Population Admitted to a Tertiary Referral Hospitap in Northern Italy: Preliminary Clinical Data12 May 2020ItalyEurope17Clinical - Clinical Features
Brambilla, I.Ciprandi, G.Obesity: A research journalSpecial Issues for COVID‐19 in Children and Adolescents12 May 2020ItalyEurope1Clinical - Clinical Features
Meslin, PZemouri, NThe Pediatric Infectious Disease JournalCoronavirus Disease 2019 in Newborns and Very Young Infants a Series of Six Patients in France12 May 2020FranceEurope6Clinical - Clinical Features
Cai, XLi, WFront. PediatrClinical Characteristics of 5 COVID-19 Cases With Non-respiratory Symptoms as the First Manifestation in Children12 May 2020ChinaAsiaClinical - Clinical Features
Shekerdemian, LSBurns, JPJAMA PediatricsCharacteristics and Outcomes of Children With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Infection Admitted to US and Canadian Pediatric Intensive Care Units11 May 2020USA & CanadaNorth America48Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a cross-sectional study of children admitted to 46 PICUs in North America. 48 children were admitted during the collection period (March 14 to April 3 2020). All had confirmed COVID-19 infection on PCR from a nasal swab.

Most patients presented with respiratory symptoms, but there were other presentations – three with DKA, and one with vaso-occlusive crisis (sickle cell). 86% of these patients had at least one comorbidity. 69% were severely or critically ill on admission, and 25% needed vasoactive drugs. 81% of patients needed respiratory support that exceeded their baseline.

61% had a range of therapies, including Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin, Remdisivir, and Tocilizumab. These were used as single agents or in combination with other therapies.

The overall mortality rate was 4.2% (both patients who died had pre-existing comorbidities and developed multisystem organ failure). 32% were still hospitalised at the time of publication (including one patient still receiving ECMO). 65% had been discharged.

This study reinforces what is known about the decreased burden of disease from COVID-19 in children compared with adults. Critically ill children had a less severe course of illness and better hospital outcomes than in adults. Children commonly had medically complex comorbidities. Overall the mortality is much lower in children (4.2%) than has been reported in adults (50-62%).

Chao, JMedar, SJ. Pediatr.Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes of Hospitalized and Critically Ill Children and Adolescents with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at a Tertiary Care Medical Center in New York City 11 May 2020USNorth America46Clinical - Clinical Features
Wehl, G..Rauchenzauner, MKlin PadiatrCo-infection of SARS CoV-2 and influenza A in a Pediatric Patient in Germany.11 May 2020GermanyEurope1Clinical - Clinical Features
Oberweis, MGarcia, IPediatr. Infect. Dis. J.Pediatric Life-Threatening Coronavirus Disease 2019 With Myocarditis11 May 2020LuxembourgEurope1Clinical - Clinical Features

In this case report from Luxembourg, the authors describe an 8yo boy of African ethinicity with COVID-19 complicated by myocarditis. Presenting features included fever, cough, fatigue and cervical adenopathy associated with painful erythematous swelling of the skin. Following admission, the patient developed renal failure and refractory hypotension necessitating ICU admission. CRP (151mg/L), ferritin (2869ng/mL), D-dimer and IL-6 were all elevated. Echocardiography demonstrated myocarditis with biventricular dysfunction and troponin was elevated. SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed on RT-PCR of nasopharyngeal swab and stool; serology (IgA and IgG) was also positive.

IVIG and tocilizumab (anti-IL-6 monoclonal antibody) were given along with supportive care including enoxaparin and inotropes. The patient made a full recovery with resolution of changes on repeat cardiac imaging and was discharged home on day 10.

This case, likely submitted prior to the description of PIMS-TS / MIS-C, fits with the definition for these syndromes. The myocarditis, refractory hypotension, overlap with features of Kawasaki Disease, laboratory findings suggestive of cytokine storm as well as the patient's African ethnicity are all in keeping with recent reports from UK, Europe and the US. The authors postulate that the "cardiac injury could be due to disproportionate host immune response to SARS-CoV2" and describe a rapid clinical response following administration of tocilizumab.

With emerging reports of PIMS-TS / MIS-C, our understanding of the pathophysiology of this condition will increase. At this stage the role of immunomodulatory agents remain uncertain in PIMS-TS / MIS-C; discussion with paediatric ID clinicians on a case by case basis is recommended.

Zhang, NZheng, XTransl PediatrAnalysis and suggestions for the preview and triage screening of children with suspected COVID-19 outside the epidemic area of Hubei Province10 May 2020ChinaAsia36Clinical - Clinical Features
Andina, D.Torello, A.Paediatric DermatologyChilblains in children in the setting of COVID-19 pandemic09 May 2020SpainEurope22Clinical - Clinical Features
Locatelli, ASena, PJ Eur Acad Dermatol VenereolHistologic features of long lasting chilblain‐like lesions in a pediatric COVID‐19 patient09 May 2020ItalyEurope1Clinical - Clinical Features

This retrospective single case report describes clinical and pathological signs of chilblain-like lesions whilst the patient was asymptomatic. He did not have any signs of autoimmune conditions including on histological examination. The lesions persisted for several weeks whilst he remained positive for SARS-CoV-2 on nasopharyngeal swab. The authors highlight young people with this sign could be carriers of the virus.

A 16-year-old male patient attended Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital, Italy. His nasopharyngeal swab was positive for SARS-CoV-2. His mother was admitted to hospital for SARS-CoV-2 management following his presentation.

Clinical features: Diarrhoea and dysgeusia were experienced 3 days prior to the onset of skin lesions described as “multiple asymptomatic erythematous oedematous partially eroded macules and plaques on dorsal aspects of the fingers”. A lesion was also noted on second toe.

Radiology: None discussed.

Bloods: "Routine bloods autoimmunity, cryoglobulins, viral serologies all negative or within normal limits"

Treatments: None

Outcomes: Was treated on a hospital ward without supplemental oxygen until discharge.

Other features of interest: Histopathological examination demonstrated oedema of the papillary dermis, superficial and deep lymphocytic infiltrate in the perivascular and strong peri-eccrine pattern. Images are provided.

Diercks, GRKwolek, CJInternational Journal of Pediatric OtorhinolaryngologyAsymptomatic COVID-19 infection in a child with nasal foreign body08 May 2020USANorth America1Clinical - Clinical Features
Fu, BFu, XMed Clin (Barc)Clinical characteristics of 11 asymptomatic patients with COVID-1908 May 2020ChinaAsia1Clinical - Clinical Features
Ma, Y.Zhang, Z.Microbes and InfectionCharacteristics of asymptomatic patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection in Jinan, China07 May 2020ChinaAsia10Clinical - Clinical Features
Zhang, YSun, BCell Mol ImmunolProtective humoral immunity in SARS-CoV-2 infected pediatric patients07 May 2020China Asia6Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a study looking at the immune responses of 6 children with Sars-CoV-2 infection and comparing it to controls, in hospitals in China, in “areas other than Wuhan”. The clinical characteristics of the children were described previously (Cai et al Clin. Infect. Dis. 2020). All six children had positive respiratory samples RT PCR positive for Sars-Cov-2. All had a mild respiratory illness, needing no supportive treatment.

It is somewhat difficult to interpret exactly what immunological tests were done on which child from the study report. However, flow cytometry analysis analysing T and B cells was performed on 4 of the positive patients and was compared to five uninfected controls, admitted to the same hospital for non Sars-CoV-2 related reasons. There was no significant difference in lymphocyte count, or percentage of CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ T cells between positive or control groups. The percentage of IgG+ in total B cells was higher, though not significantly, between groups but the percentage of IgG+ memory B cells was significantly higher in infected group.

The authors used Nucleocapsid protein and receptor binding domain of spike protein (spike-RBD) of SARS-COV-2 as antigen. All 6 infected children were tested for antigen specific antibodies, with 5 of 6 children producing antigen specific antibodies between 2 – 17 days post infection (it is unclear whether these were serial samples, or opportunistic sampling, therefore exact time of production of antigen specific antibodies is unclear). The team report that most of the IgM antibody for spike RBD Sars-CoV-2 was undetectable shortly after disease onset, suggesting class switching occurred within one week of virus exposure.

The team went on to select select serum from one patient with high concentration of spike RBD protein, and demonstrated in vitro it could block the receptor binding between spikeprotein and ACE2 protein, which is considered a vital pathway for Sars-CoV-2 to infect.

Authors conclude that the efficient humoral immune response might explain why the majority of children infected with SARS-CoV-2 had milder symptoms and recovered more easily than adults.

Papa, AVarrassi, GPain TherImages in Practice: Painful Cutaneous Vasculitis in a SARS-Cov-2 IgG-Positive Child06 May 2020ItalyEurope1Clinical - Clinical Features
Ma, H.Shao, J.BMC MedicineA single-center, retrospective study of COVID-19 features in children: a descriptive investigation06 May 2020ChinaAsia158Clinical - Clinical Features
Zhang, BZhang SJ InfectionChildren hospitalized for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): A multicenter retrospective descriptive study06 May 2020ChinaAsia46Clinical - Clinical Features
Wang, YSun, DPediatr Infect Dis JThe Risk of Children Hospitalized With Severe COVID-19 in Wuhan06 May 2020ChinaAsia43Clinical - Clinical Features
Colonna, C. Gelmetti, C.Paediatric DermatologyChilblains-like lesions in children following suspected Covid-19 infection06 May 2020ItalyEurope4Clinical - Clinical Features
Li, J.Song, S.Q.The Brazilian Journal of INFECTIOUS DISEASEAn infant with a mild SARS-CoV-2 infection detected only by anal swabs: a case report06 May 2020ChinaAsia1Clinical - Clinical Features
Xiong, X.Tam, P.Med archivesAre COVID-19 infected children with gastrointestinal symptoms different from those without symptoms? A comparative study of the clinical characteristics and epidemiological trend of 244 pediatric cases from Wuhan05 May 2020ChinaAsia244Clinical - Clinical Features
Lu, YDu, HPed Infectious Disease JSymptomatic Infection is Associated with Prolonged Duration of Viral Shedding in Mild Coronavirus Disease 2019: A Retrospective Study of 110 Children in Wuhan05 May 2020ChinaAsia110Clinical - Clinical Features

This retrospective study analysed demographic, clinical, laboratory, radiological and therapeutic data from the electronic medical records of 110 children hospitalised with “mild/ordinary” COVID-19 (classified as per the National Health Commission of People’s Republic of China National Recommendations for Diagnosis and Treatment of COVID-19, 7th edition) at Wuhan Children’s Hospital in Hubei, China between 30th January and 10th March 2020. Inclusion criteria: throat or nasopharyngeal swabs RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 positive and patient discharged from hospital after recovery (an initial cohort of 127 children was reduced to 110 after exclusion of 2 critical cases and 15 children in whom the onset of disease could not be accurately determined).

Study design: Timings of onset of illness, most recent exposure (presumably to SARS-CoV-2-confirmed or symptomatic contacts, although this isn’t specified), diagnosis and discharge from hospital were recorded. Patients were discharged only once they had two consecutive RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 negative swab results (separated by at least 24 hours). The authors calculated the duration of viral shedding for (a) symptomatic patients (81/110, 74%) as time from onset of illness to discharge and for (b) asymptomatic patients (29/110, 26%) as time from date of most recent exposure OR abnormal chest radiological imaging (reason for imaging not specified in these asymptomatic patients) to discharge. This definition of duration of viral shedding, with starting point presumably in most cases a retrospective parent-reported start of symptoms or exposure to an infectious contact, and end point two negative swabs leading to discharge from hospital, makes interpreting the duration figures problematic. Viral shedding in urine and faeces was not measured.

Clinical features: Median age of the 110 children was 6 years (IQR 2-9); 59/110 male (54%), 51/110 female (46%). Symptoms included: cough and dyspnoea 57/110 (52%), fever 56/110 (51%), GI (including diarrhoea, vomiting, poor feeding, anorexia, abdominal pain) 26/110 (24%), rhinorrhoea 10/110 (9%).Radiology: 64/103 (62%) had unspecified chest imaging reported as demonstrating pneumonia (55/75 symptomatic (73%) and 9/28 asymptomatic (32%)).

Bloods: Leucocytes < 4.0 x 109/L in 6/110 (5%) (all 6 were symptomatic). Leucocytes > 10.5 x 109/L in 12/110 (11%) (9 symptomatic & 3 asymptomatic). Lymphocyte ranges not specified. Haemoglobin < 110 g/L in 13/110 (12%) (all 13 symptomatic). Fibrinogen < 2.0 g/L in 34/90 (38%) (20 symptomatic & 14 asymptomatic). Hs-CRP > 3.0 mg/L in 21/110 (19%) (18 symptomatic & 3 asymptomatic). Procalcitonin > 0.05 ng/mL in 52/110 (47%) (43 symptomatic & 9 asymptomatic). AST > 50.0 U/L in 19/110 (17%) (all 19 symptomatic).

Treatment: None of the patients required oxygen therapy. All of them received antiviral therapy, mostly commonly nebulised interferon-. According to the data table 22/110 received Chinese medicine therapy, although no details are given and it’s not clear if this was pre-hospitalisation. Median duration of hospital stay was 10 days (IQR 8-13).

Conclusions: The median duration of viral shedding using the definitions above was 15 days overall (IQR 11-20 days, range 5-37 days): 17 days (IQR 12-23) in symptomatic patients and 11 days (IQR 9-13) in asymptomatic patients. Symptomatic infection, fever, pneumonia and lymphocyte counts < 2.0 x 109/L were reported to be associated with prolonged duration of shedding.

Garcia-Lara, G.Ruiz-Villaverde, R.Dermatologic TherapyChilblain-like lesions in pediatrics dermatological outpatients during the COVID-19 outbreak 05 May 2020SpainEurope27Clinical - Clinical Features
Merza, MAbdulah, D.Diabetes Metab SyndrCOVID-19 outbreak in Iraqi Kurdistan: The first report characterizing epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, and radiological findings of the disease05 May 2020Iraqi KurdistanMiddle East4Clinical - Clinical Features
Peng, HXu, HJ Clin VirologyCoronavirus disease 2019 in children: Characteristics, antimicrobial treatment, and outcomes04 May 2020China Asia75Clinical - Clinical Features
Rahmanzade, RHashemian, SA A PractRespiratory Distress in Postanesthesia Care Unit: First Presentation of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in a 17-Year-Old Girl: A Case Report04 May 2020IranAsia1Clinical - Clinical Features
Morey-Olive, MGarcia-Patos, VAnales de pediatriaCutaneous manifestations in the current pandemic of coronavirus infection disease (COVID 2019)04 May 2020SpainEurope2Clinical - Clinical Features
Nirenberg, M.Herrera, MDMRJ Am Podiatr Med Assoc.Foot Manifestations in a COVID-19 Positive Patient, A case study04 May 2020SpainEuropeClinical - Clinical Features
Zheng, ZLiu, JJ Cent South Univ (Med Sci)Chest CT findings and clinical features of coronavirus disease 2019 in children03 May 2020ChinaAsia9Clinical - Clinical Features
Sun, JWang, YJ Infect Dev CtriesDifferent outcome of COVID-19 in members of a family03 May 2020ChinaAsia1Clinical - Clinical Features
Steinberger, SLittle, B PAm J RoentgenolCT Features of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in 30 Pediatric Patients 01 May 2020ChinaAsia30Clinical - Clinical Features
Qiu, LLuo, XPediatr Infect DisA Typical Case of Critically Ill Infant of Coronavirus Disease 2019 With Persistent Reduction of T Lymphocytes01 May 2020ChinaAsia1Clinical - Clinical Features
Tsao, HFearon, DPediatricsThrombocytopenia (ITP) in a SARS-CoV-2 Positive Pediatric Patient01 May 2020USANorth America1Clinical - Clinical Features

A retrospective single case report was reported by Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Rhode Island, USA, highlighting an association between SARS-CoV-2 and immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) in children. The patient was co-positive with rhinovirus and enterovirus, previously described in children managed for SARS-CoV-2.

A 10-year-old female patient was admitted for management of ITP after presenting with a petechial rash. 3 weeks prior she experienced 2 days of symptoms: cough and fever, following exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. She did not have a family history of haematological or autoimmune conditions, any medical problems or medications.

A ‘respiratory panel’ was positive for rhinovirus and enterovirus and negative for coronavirus types 229E, HKU1, NL63, OC43. A Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction testing was positive for SARS-CoV-2.

Clinical features: Initial illness (3 weeks prior to ED presentation): fever, non-productive cough

Presentation to ED: petechial rash spreading from the legs to chest and neck, oral wet purpura, ecchymoses in the popliteal regions and shins.

Radiology: N/A

Bloods: At presentation: WCC 3.9 X 10^9/L (56% neutrophils, 38% lymphocytes) [Leukopenia without neutropenia or lymphopenia], haemoglobin 13.4 g/dL [normal], platelets 5 X 10^9/L [thrombocytopenia]. ANA borderline positive titers (1:40) in a speckled pattern which was considered not significant.

At 2 week follow up: WCC 6.1 X10^9/L [normal], Platelets 320 X 10^9/L [normal], ALT 56 IU/L [mildly raised], AST 28 IU/L [mildly raised].

Treatments: Intravenous immunoglobulin, paracetamol, and antihistamine to manage ITP.

Outcomes: Discharge from hospital after 1 day. Rash and oral lesions improved after 48 hours. Side effects were noted due to IVIG including headache, vomiting, abdominal pain.

At 2 week follow up platelet count was maintained, white cell count normalised and a mild transaminitis was noted.

Zhu, XCiu, LVirusResCo-infection with respiratory pathogens among COVID-2019 cases30 Apr 2020China Asia11Clinical - Clinical Features
Yu, X.Fu, C.Transboundary and Emerging diseasesEpidemiological and clinical characteristics of 333 confirmed cases with coronavirus disease 2019 in Shanghai, China29 Apr 2020ChinaAsia10Clinical - Clinical Features
Casas, CGarcia-Doval, IBr J DermatologyClassification of the cutaneous manifestations of COVID-19: a rapid prospective nationwide consensus study in Spain with 375 cases29 Apr 2020spainEurope0Clinical - Clinical Features

This article from a team in Spain aimed to classify cutaneous manifestations of COVID-19 and relate them to other clinical findings.

From 3rd of April 2020 to 16th of April 2020 they collected 429 cases but excluded 54 leaving a sample of 375 patients. A standardised questionnaire was used, photographs were taken and the questionnaires and photographs were independently reviewed by 4 dermatologists.

Data was collected by Spanish dermatologists from across the country most of whom had been redeployed from their usual dermatology posts.

Patients with an eruption of recent onset (previous 2 weeks) and no clear explanation, plus suspected or confirmed COVID-19 were included.They describe 5 cutaneous manifestations.

Acral areas of Erythema-oedema with some vesicles or pustules: 19% of cases. These were more likely in children.

Other vesicular eruptions: 9%. May also affect the limbs and have a haemorrhagic content, and become larger or diffuse.

3 Urticarial lesions: 19%. Mostly distributed in the trunk or disperse. A few cases were palmar.

Other maculopapular: 47%. Some showed perifollicular distribution and varying degrees of scaling, Some had been described as similar to pityriasis rosea.Livedo or necrosis: 6% Strengths of this study are the large number of patients recruited and that four dermatologists independently reviewed the images. It adds to the understanding of skin manifestations of COVID-19, which may give additional information when trying to make a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 if other symptoms are non-specific, also the cutaneous manifestations may persist for some time once other symptoms have resolved.

A weakness is the authors did not specify the age of the patients involved so the usefulness for paediatric patients is limited. Also, in some areas, diagnosis of COVID-19 infection could only be made clinically, based on symptoms as the ability to test patients was limited during the height of the pandemic.

Chacon-Aguilar, R.Perez-Moneo, B.An Padiatric (Engl Ed)COVID-19: Fever syndrome and neurological symptoms in a neonate27 Apr 2020SpainEurope1Clinical - Clinical Features
Nathan, NCorvol, HLancetAtypical presentation of COVID-19 in young infants27 Apr 2020FranceEurope5Clinical - Clinical Features

This correspondence in the Lancet describes the clinical features of 5 infants with COVID-19 who were admitted to a Paris hospital during the first week after imposed population quarantine in France (from 17th March 2020). At this time at Trousseau Hospital, children needing admission with fever or respiratory symptoms (or both) were admitted to a dedicated SARS-CoV-2 infection unit: during this week 14 infants under the age of 3 months were admitted and of these 5 out of 14 were confirmed SARS-CoV-2 positive on nasopharyngeal swabs.

Age/gender of infants: All 5 of these previously healthy infants with COVID-19 were boys; ages ranged from 1.6 to 2.7 months (median 2.1). All of their parents had mild signs of viral infection (including fever, cough, rhinitis), which could have been indicative of undiagnosed COVID-19.Clinical features at presentation: 5/5 fever (range 37.4 to 38.5 C), 4/5 neurological signs (drowsiness/hypotonia/abnormal “moaning” cry), 4/5 mottled skin, 4/5 runny nose, 4/5 cough, 0/5 dyspnoea, 5/5 normal SpO2, 0/5 digestive symptoms.

Investigations: FBC, CRP & procalcitonin largely unremarkable, with the exception of lymphopaenia in 2/5. Lumbar punctures in 4/5 babies with abnormal neurology reported normal (including negative for RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2). Chest X-rays performed in 4/5 essentially normal.

Outcomes: All 5 showed rapid clinical improvement and received no drugs other than paracetamol. Inpatient stays ranged from 1 to 3 days and duration of fever ranged from 1 to 5 days (max 39C). The infants were followed up for 2 weeks post-discharge with a daily phone call from a paediatrician using a standardised questionnaire.

Conclusion: This encouraging report of a small cohort of SARS-CoV-2 positive infants under the age of 3 months presenting Atypical presentation of COVID-19 in young infantswith fever showed initially concerning signs on admisson, but rapid recovery and minimal intervention needed for all 5 infants.

Piccolo, VBassi, AJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and VenereologyChillblain-like lesions during COVID-19 pandemic: a preliminary study on 63 patients24 Apr 2020ItalyEurope63Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a report of chilblain like lesions observed during the COVID-19 pandemic, collected through a survey issued to Italian dermatologists and Paediatricians. This is a preliminary report as data collection still ongoing.

Importantly – very few patients in this cohort were tested for COVID-19 (11/63) and only 2 of these patients were positive. It is therefore difficult to extrapolate these findings to paediatric COVID-19 specifically, but is worth being aware of.

63 patients have been reported on with a median age of 14 years (IQR 12 – 16yrs) with feet alone being bar far the most commonly affected area (85/7%) followed by feet and hands together (7%). In uploaded pictures from 54 patients, erythematous-oedematous lesions were most common (31/54) followed by blistering lesions (23/54) and pain and itch were common, although a quarter of lesions were “asymptomatic”. Median time of onset of rash to diagnosis was 10 days. The lesions were generally stable and no other cutaneous signs observed. GI symptoms were the most common co-existing (11.1%) with surprisingly low levels of respiratory symptoms (7.9%).

This is basically a description of a common skin manifestation which coincided with COVID-19, and looked like it could be infectious in origin. Few patients tested, and even fewer positive. An interesting series worth bearing in mind given increasing reports of skin manifestation of COVID-19.

Racalcati, SFantini, FJ Eur Acad Dermatol VenereolAcral cutaneous lesions in the time of COVID-1924 Apr 2020ItalyEurope11Clinical - Clinical Features

This pre-print Letter to the Editor reports on a series of unusual dermatological manifestations presenting to the Dermatologic Unit in Alessandro Manzoni Hospital, Italy in March and April 2020. The authors observed 14 cases, of which 11 were children with a mean age of 14.4 years and a range of 13-18 years. Of the 14 cases, 6 (43%) were male. 3 pairs of cases were siblings.

None of the cases had systemic symptoms (other than mild itch in 3 cases), there was no association with cold exposure, co-morbidities or drug intake, and there was no family history of COVID-19 related symptoms. 3 cases reported cough and fever 3 weeks prior to the onset of the lesions.

The authors believe that these dermatological findings are related to COVID-19 due to the rapid outbreak and clustering of these unusual skin lesions occurring at the same time as the COVID-19 outbreak. In support of this they report multiple similar cases being described from other areas affected by the pandemic. They hypothesise that the skin lesions may represent late manifestations of COVID-19 infection in young, healthy subjects, possibly due to an immunologic response targeting the cutaneous vessels. They accept that this hypothesis cannot be tested until a reliable serological test for antibody response to COVID-19 has been developed.

Clinical features: Acral eruption of erythemato-violaceous papules and macules, with possible bullous evolution or digital swelling. Lesions were found on the feet in 8 cases, hands in 4 cases, and on both sites in 2 cases. 2 children developed erythemato-papular targetoid lesions on the hands and elbows after a few days.

Histology: Lesions on fingers showed diffuse dense lymphoid infiltrate of the superficial and deep dermis, with a prevalent perivascular pattern and signs of endothelial activation. Targetoid lesions on elbows showed mild superficial perivascular dermatitis.

Bloods: Normal FBC, CRP, LDH and D-dimer. Serology was negative for EBV, CMV, Coxsackie and Parvovirus B19.

Outcomes: In all cases the lesions resolved without treatment after 2-4 weeks. It is worth noting that this study is limited both by the small number of cases, but more particularly by the lack of evidence linking these skin lesions with a proven COVID-19 infection.Piccolo et al (Clinical)

Landa, NAguirre, TInternational Journal of DermatologyChillblain-like lesions on feet and hands during the COVID-19 pandemic24 Apr 2020SpainEurope2Clinical - Clinical Features
Wu, PNie, SGraefes Arch Clin Exp OphthalmolA child confirmed COVID-19 with only symptoms of conjunctivitis and eyelid dermatitis24 Apr 2020ChinaAsia1Clinical - Clinical Features
Zhang, BZhang SJ InfectPositive rectal swabs in young patients recovered from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)23 Apr 2020ChinaAsia3Clinical - Clinical Features

In this case series from Dongguan, China, three normally fit & well children aged 14y, 13y and 10m were followed up after positive throat swab for SARS-CoV-2. All three had a subsequent negative throat swab within approximately 7 days, and fully recovered, however 7-9 days later all three had rectal swabs which were positive. These findings raise the question of whether apparently well COVID-19 patients continue to carry and possibly shed the virus. If this was found to be the case in larger and more comprehensive studies, there may be an argument for introduction of strategies to increase avoidance of transmission via the faecal-oral route.

Huang, LZhou, JClin ImagInitial CT imaging characters of an imported family cluster of COVID-1923 Apr 2020ChinaAsia1Clinical - Clinical Features!po=31.2500
Kan, MJGreenhow, TLJ Ped Inf Dis SocFever without a source in a young infant due to SARS-CoV-222 Apr 2020United States North America1Clinical - Clinical Features
Carrabba, GLocatelli, MLancetNeurosurgery in an infant with COVID-1922 Apr 2020Italy Europe1Clinical - Clinical Features
Genovese, GMarzano, AVPediatr DermatolVaricella-like exanthem associated with COVID-19 in an 8-year-old girl: A diagnostic clue?21 Apr 2020ItalyEurope1Clinical - Clinical Features

This single case report describes an 8 year old girl presenting on a hospital in Milan, Lombardy region, Italy, on 21 March 2020 with a painless, non-pruritic papulovesicular rash on the trunk developing 3 days after onset of a mild cough. The rash was predominantly papular with some vesicles with crusting, similar in appearance to chickenpox. Limbs, face, genitalia and mucous membranes were spared. She developed a mild fever 5 days after the onset of the rash, and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. She had bloods including FBC, renal function, liver function and CRP, all of which were normal with the exception of a mild thrombocytopenia with platelets of 105 x 109/L, which subsequently normalised. The rash lasted 7 days, by which time systemic symptoms had resolved. The young girl had a history of varicella infection a year previously.

The authors quote other case reports of cutaneous manifestations associated with COVID-19: petechial rash, widespread urticaria and varicella-like rash predominantly involving the trunk. Although unable to confirm that the rash was definitely associated with COVID-19, they feel it is likely given the child’s previous history of varicella infection and lack of pruritis to suggest the lesions were insect bites. They suggest papulovesicular eruptions be included in the spectrum of exanthems possibly associated with COVID-19.

Li, HXu, QJ Infect The Profile of Peripheral Blood Lymphocyte Subsets and Serum Cytokines in Children With 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia20 Apr 2020China Asia40Clinical - Clinical Features

This was a retrospective observational study, studying lymphocyte subsets and serum cytokines of 40 children admitted with 2019-nCoV pneumonia to Wuhan Children’s Hospital between 24 January and 22 February 2020. These were compared against the lymphocyte subsets and serum cytokines of 16 children admitted with RSV pneumonia to the same hospital between 10 December 2019 and 22 February 2020. Study authors report they could not compare 2019-nCoV pneumonia to healthy controls, as the city was in lockdown.

It is not described how these patients were selected from all patients admitted with 2019-nCoV pneumonia, and RSV pneumonia, and what proportion the included patients were of the total admitted patients with these conditions.

There were 40 children with 2019-nCoV pneumonia, diagnosed by real time PCR. The mean age was 5.07 years (4.71 SD). 23 were male, with 17 females. All 40 children had a CT performed, 16 had unilateral changes, 26 had bilateral changes, and 1 had no changes. Severity was classed as needing ICU admission, only 1 out of 40 was classed as “severe”.

There were 16 children with RSV pneumonia included with mean age of 1.36 years (0.85 SD). 10 were male, 6 were female. All had CT chest, with 3 unilateral changes, 12 bilateral changes, and 1 with no changes. 2 out of 16 required were classified as severe and needed ICU admission.

Lymphocyte subsets were drawn within first 3 days of admission. Those treated with glucocorticoids (3 2019-nCoV and 4 with RSV pneumonia) had them taken before steroids were administered. They compared mean and % between patient groups. Mean CD3+ CD8+ are higher in 2019-nCoV patients; mean 933N/µL(SD 421) than RSV patients mean 675 N/µL (SD 426) (p = 0.044), CD3+ CD8+ % were also significantly higher in 2019-nCoV pneumonia patients. IL10 levels were significantly lower in children with 2019-nCoV pneumonia, though exact figures were not given. The child with severe 2019-nCoV had serial lymphocyte subsets. The authors concluded that immune responses could play a significant role in the disease and influence the severity of response.

The limitations of the study discussed were the small numbers, the very few patients with severe illness and the lack of a normal control. The authors did not comment on the significant age differences between the groups, and how these patients were selected.

Richardson, SDavidson, KJAMA networkPresenting Characteristics, Comorbidities and Outcomes among 5700 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the New York City area20 Apr 2020USANorth America34Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a paper from New York, USA, looking at the presenting characteristics, comorbidities, and outcomes of 5700 patients who were hospitalized with Covid-19. These were patients who were admitted to one of 12 Northwell Health acute care hospitals between 01/03/2020 and 04/04/2020. Clinical outcomes were monitored until 04/04/2020. All patients who were sufficiently medically ill to require hospital admission with confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection by positive result on PCR testing of an NPA were included. The median age of patients was 63 years (IQR 52-75), 39.7% were female.

At presentations, 30.7% of patients had a temperature of over 380C. 20% had oxygen saturations of less than 90%. 43.1% of patients were considered tachycardic with a heart rate of over 100.

The majority of patients white cell count and differentials were within normal range. The mean white blood cell count was 7 (IQR 5.2-9.5). Neutrophil count 5.3 (IQR 3.7-7.7), however some patients were mildly lymphopenic, median 0.88 (IQR 0.6-1.2). Most patients had a low CRP, the mean result was 16 (IQR 6.4-26.9). Most patients had a raised ferritin, the mean result was 798 (IQR 411-1515), with 15-400 being considered normal range. Of note lactate dehydrogenase was tested in 70% of the patients and was significantly raised in most patients, the mean being 404 (IQR 300-551) with the normal considered to be 50-242.

A venous lactate was recorded in 44% of patients and all results were normal- <2. The most common comorbidities were hypertension (56.6%), obesity (41.7%) and diabetes (33.8%).

At the study end point 2634 patients had been discharged or had died during hospitalisation. Of these 14.2% were treated in ICU, 12.2% of them received mechanical ventilation, and 21% of these patients died. At the end point of the study of those patients who had received mechanical ventilation 3.3% were discharged alive, 24.5% died, 72.2% were still in hospital. There were no deaths in the under 18 age group (34 patients).

Of the patients who died, those with diabetes were more likely to have received mechanical ventilation or care in the ICU compared to those who did not have diabetes. Interestingly of those who died, those with hypertension were less likely to have received invasive mechanical ventilation than those without hypertension.

As most patients were still in the hospital at the endo point of the study (53.8%) this biases rates toward including patients who died early in their hospital course. The researchers point out that as these patients complete their hospital course, reported mortality rates will decline.

This study was slightly limited by the fact that the data was collected from the electronic heath record database and not the medical notes, from which a greater level of detail may have been established, however it was using this method that allowed for such a large number of patients to have been included and reviewed over a relatively short space of time. It is also limited by the fact that the study population only included patients from within the New York metropolitan area which may underrepresent some ethnic minorities.

Li, HXu, JJournal of Medical VirologyPositive result of SARS-CoV-2 in faeces and sputum from discharged patient with COVID-19 in Yiwu, China20 Apr 2020ChinaAsia0Clinical - Clinical Features
Du, AZhang, ZInfectionClinical characteristics of COVID-19 in children compared with adults in Shandong Province, China16 Apr 2020ChinaAsia14Clinical - Clinical Features
Xing, YXing, QJ InfecDynamics of faecal SARS-CoV-2 in infected children during the convalescent phase16 Apr 2020ChinaAsia3Clinical - Clinical Features
Jiang, SYu, XClin Chem Lab MedCoinfection of SARS-CoV-2 and multiple respiratory pathogens in children16 Apr 2020ChinaAsia2Clinical - Clinical Features
See, K CIbrahim Hinternational journal of infectious diseasesCOVID-19: Four paediatric cases in Malaysia15 Apr 2020malaysia Asia4Clinical - Clinical Features
Shi, BXu, HClin PediatrSevere pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2 and respiratory syncytial virus infection: a case report15 Apr 2020ChinaAsia1Clinical - Clinical Features
Chen, JHuang, AGenes Dis.The clinical and immunological features of pediatric COVID-19 patients in China14 Apr 2020ChinaAsia12Clinical - Clinical Features

This early study from Chongqing, China describes the features of 12 children diagnosed with COVID-19. All had a mild course of illness. CT imaging was abnormal in 10 of 12 with patchy ground glass opacity the most common finding. Lymphopenia was present in 2 children.

The authors also compare the "immune profile" (including lymphocyte counts, immunoglobulins, complement, CRP and IL6 levels) of the 12 children with a group of 20 adults patients. Aside from a lower CRP in children (mean 11.5 vs 23.3mg/L) and expected age-related differences in absolute lymphocyte numbers, there were no significant differences between the groups.

liu, J.Lu, B.JMVDetection of SARS‐CoV‐2 by RT‐PCR in anal from patients who have recovered from coronavirus disease 201914 Apr 2020ChinaAsia1Clinical - Clinical Features
Shen, LLan, JJournal of InfectionClinical and laboratory-derived parameters of 199 hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019 in Xiangyang, Hubei Province, China10 Apr 2020ChinaAsia7Clinical - Clinical Features
Wang, H.Lu, XiaoxiaPediatric Infectious Disease JournalRehospiatlization of a recovered coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) child with positive nucleic acid detection09 Apr 2020ChinaAsia1Clinical - Clinical Features
Lazerrini, MTrobia, GLancet Child and Adolescent HealthDelayed access of provision of care in Italy resulting from fear of COVID-1909 Apr 2020ItalyEurope12Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a report of case studies during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy of children whose presentations were thought to have been delayed due to parental fears of coming to the hospital. They report from 5 hospitals between March 1st and March 27th 2020, where paediatric presentations were reduced between 73–88%.

During this period, in the week of March 23rd to 27th 12 children are identified whose parents reported avoiding accessing hospital due to concerns over SARS-CoV-2 infection . 6 of these were admitted to PICU and there were 4 deaths. The cases include 2 children with DKA, 2 with acute leukaemia, 2 children with cerebral palsy and complex needs, 1 with pneumonia and febrile convulsions, 1 with pyelonephritis, 1 with pyloric stenosis, 1 with a Wilm’s tumour, 1 with vomiting and hypoglycaemia and 1 with a congenital syndrome on dialysis.

This case series highlights the concerns of many paediatricians that more deaths will be seen in children from collateral damage born from the COVID-19 response, than will die of COVID-19. Delayed presentations is a major concern around the world currently, and whilst these cases certainly raise concerns, evidence is needed to ascertain the true presence and extent of this problem.

Zhu, CZhu, LPediatric PulmonologyClinical characteristics of a case series of children with coronavirus disease 201908 Apr 2020ChinaAsia10Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a case series of ten paediatrics patients aged 1 – 17 years with confirmed Covid 19. These cases were retrospectively selected from 3 hospitals in Jiangsu, a coastal province approx 700 km east of Wuhan. Cases were collect from 24th January 2020 to 22nd February 2020. All cases were confirmed by RT-PCR anal or throat swabs. 70% of children presented with symptoms, and 30% were asymptomatic, but were screened due to contact with confirmed family member.

The most common symptoms on presentation were fever (40%), cough, (20%) and headache (20%). There was no report of whether children had underlying conditions. All children had a CT chest completed. Half of the cohort had CT changes. There were 2 cases of bilateral pneumonia, and 3 cases of unilateral pneumonia, 2 of which were in asymptomatic patients. Bloods were unremarkable, one child aged 1 year had Lymphocytosis, all others had normal lymphocyte counts. CRP was not raised in any child. Only one patient in the cohort required oxygen, and there were no ICU admissions. Five children were treated with antiviral medication including lopinavir/ritonavir (n=4) interferon α‐2b (n = 4), and oseltamivir (n = 1).

Of note, 5 children were still in hospital at the end of the case series.

Yuan, JLiu, LClinical Infectious DiseasesPCR assays turned positive in 25 discharged COVID-19 patients08 Apr 2020ChinaAsia6Clinical - Clinical Features
Shen, QZhou, ZPediatric PulmonologyNovel coronavirus infection in children outside of Wuhan, China07 Apr 2020ChinaAsia9Clinical - Clinical Features

This retrospective study examines the clinical characteristics of children admitted to Public Health centre of Changsha, Hunan, China. There were 9 children admitted during the study period 08/01/2019 and 19/02/2020 who tested positive for COVID-19. All had a confirmed contact case with COVID-19. Median age was 8 years, with a minimum age 1 year and oldest was 12 years. Children were predominantly female (6/9, 66%). There was no information provided about co-morbidities.Clinical features: 2/9 were asymptomatic, 1/9 had cough, 4/9 had fever, 1/9 had sore throat and 2/9 had diarrhoea.

Radiology: 2 patients had chest CT that were described as ground glass opacities. No further information was provided about the indications.

Bloods: 1/9 had lymphocytosis in whom other infectious causes were excluded. 1/9 had raised CRP, 4/9 raised ESR, 1/9 raised LDH, 2/9 had raised AST with 0/9 ALT abnormalities. All abnormalities were mild.

Treatments: All (9/9) children were treated10/2.5 mg/kg lopinavir/ritonavir twice daily, orally. 5/9 children received 10 mg/kg azithromycin once a day. One child received meprednisone and immune globulin therapy for febrile convulsion. No additional information regarding treatments were provided.All children required oxygen therapy. None required intensive care or mechanical ventilation.Outcomes: At the end of data collection 3/9 remained under hospital care and were positive for COVID-19. The remainder (6/9) were discharged from hospital. The time spent in hospital varied between 11 and 22 days (median 13.5 IQR 10.75-14 days).

Other salient features: 6/9 children were RT-PCR negative at discharge. The time between initial contact and a negative test varied between 9 and 20 days (median 13.5 IQR 10.75-14 days).

All averages were calculated by the reviewer from the data provided within the article.

Lei, PJiao, JJournal of X-ray Science and TechnologyClinical and computed tomographic (CT) images characteristics in the patients with COVID-19 infection: what should radiologists need to know?07 Apr 2020ChinaAsia1Clinical - Clinical Features
Han, YFang, YJournal of Medical VirologyA comparative-descriptive analysis of clinical characteristics in 2019-coronavirus-infected children and adults06 Apr 2020ChinaAsia7Clinical - Clinical Features

This retrospective study compares the clinical characteristics of 25 adults and 7 children with acute respiratory disease confirmed as COVID-19. Cases were retrospectively identified from patients admitted to Xian Eighth Hospital in Shaanxi, China, between 31st January and 16th February 2020. The mean age of the children was 1.3 years with a range of 2 months to 13 years, and 4 (57%) were male. None had any co-morbidities.

Clinical features: 5/7 (71%) children had cough, 3/7 (43%) had shortness of breath, 5/7 (71%) had fever, 1/7 (14%) had sore throat and 4/7 (57%) had diarrhoea and/or vomiting.

Radiology: 5/7 (71%) children had “positive findings suggestive of pneumonia” reported on CXR and/or CT. Examples of these findings were ground glass opacities and segmental consolidation in bilateral lung fields, particularly peripherally.

Bloods: No children had a low lymphocyte count (<0.8). Raised lymphocyte counts were not mentioned but raised WCC was reported in 2/7 (29%) children. 2/7 (29%) had a raised CRP (>10). 4/7 (57%) had a raised AST (>50) or ALT (>37). 5/7 (71%) had increased Brain Natriuretic Peptide (>125). 4/7 (57%) had a raised CK Isoenzyme (>30).

Outcomes: All 7 cases in children were classified as mild and recovered within 1-2 weeks. None of the children were admitted to intensive care and none died.Comparison of clinical characteristics in adults and children: Children were more likely than adults to have diarrhoea and/or vomiting (57% vs. 8%, p=0.012). Adults more frequently had a reduced WCC, compared to a raised WCC in children, and raised CK isoenzyme was less common in adults.

Graselli, GPasenti, AJAMABaseline characteristics and outcomes of 1591 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 admitted to ICUs of the Lombardy Region, Italy06 Apr 2020ItalyEurope4Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a retrospective case series of 1591 consecutive patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 referred for ICU admission to the regional ICU coordinator of the Lombardy ICU Network, and treated at one of the ICUs of the 72 hospitals in the network. Patients were recruited between 20/02/2020 and 18/03/2020 with follow-up on 25/03/2020. Data was collected via telephone. Of the nearly 1600 patients referred for ICU admission, only 4 were between 0 and 20 years of age, with a median age of 16 and interquartile range of 14 to 19 years of age. Three of the four patients (75%) were male and three of the four had comorbidities (specific details not given).

Two required mechanical ventilation. It’s important to note that the patients in this study were those admitted to ICU and not patients on medical wards, in the ED or in the community so the high percentage of ventilated patients in this study is not a reflection of the other patients in the region with SARS-CoV-2. These two patients had relatively low oxygen requirements with an FiO2 of 30% and 50%; relatively low PEEPs of 5 and 14 mmHg; and favourable PaO2/FiO2 ratios of 195 and 323, placing these two patients in the mild to moderate ARDS severity scores (for more information on PaO2/FiO2 ratios have a look at the LITFL explanation at https://litfl. com/pao2-fio2-ratio/). None of the four patients in the 0-20 year old category received ECMO. Information on disposition was only available for two of the four patients. None of these patients died. Two remained on ICU on 25/03/2020 at time of follow-up.What can we take from this study? As the study recruited patients admitted to ICU, the numbers of adolescent patients in this case series is low at only four, with an age range of 16 to 19. The data was collected retrospectively via telephone making it difficult to draw robust conclusions. However, we can see that compared to the older groups of patients in the study, ventilation requirements were lower. Three of the four adolescent patients had comorbidities, which might suggest that children and adolescents without comorbidities in the Lombardy region were less severely unwell and did not require ICU admission.

Lai, WLiu, JPediatr RadiolComputed tomography of the lungs in novel corona virus (COVID-19) infection06 Apr 2020ChinaAsia2Clinical - Clinical Features
Canarutto, DBarera, GPediatric PulmonologyCOVID-19 infection in a paucisymptomatic infant: raising the index of suspicion in epidemic settings06 Apr 2020ItalyEurope1Clinical - Clinical Features

This early single case report from Milan, Italy describes an infant with mild a mild case of COVID-19 who recovered without need for intervention. His father, the implied household index, had an upper airway infection with conjunctivitis without confirmatory testing.

Patient: 32 day old boy, presented to hospital symptomatic

Clinical Features: Cough, fever, rhinitis

Radiology: CXR normal

Bloods: reactive lymphocytes on film, monocytosis (1400/L) and neutrpenia (900/uL), CRP normal

Outcomes: Resolution of fever by day 3 of hospitalisation, full recovery without need for supportive therapy. Breast feeding maintained.

Lin, LShan, HGutGastrointestinal symptoms of 95 cases with SARS-CoV-2 infection02 Apr 2020ChinaAsia5Clinical - Clinical Features
Xing, YXing, QJournal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection.Prolonged viral shedding in feces of pediatric patients with coronavirus disease 201928 Mar 2020ChinaAsia3Clinical - Clinical Features
Yin XLi HRadiology of Infectious Diseases A mild type of childhood COVID-19 - a case report27 Mar 2020ChinaAsia1Clinical - Clinical Features
Qui, HLancet: Infectious DiseasesClinical and epidemiological features of 36 children with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Zhejiang, China: an observational cohort study25 Mar 2020ChinaAsia36Clinical - Clinical Features

Qui and colleagues retrospectively identified 36 children with an EMR diagnosis of COVID-19, during the period Jan 17 through March 1st, at three hospitals in Zhejiang, China, a province 900km to the east of Wuhan. Diagnosis was made by COVID-19 RT PCR for all patients presenting with fever, cough and radiographic presentation, or if there was a history of exposure to an infected individual.

For the mild cohort, 28% of patients were asymptomatic, with moderate cases more likely to have fever of 38oC or higher (47%), cough (24%), vomiting or diarrhoea (10%) or headache (10%). More than half (53%) of patients had ground-glass opacities on CT scan, meeting the case definition for Moderate illness. Key laboratory values of note include lymphopaenia, leukocytopaenia and increased procalcitonin as all associated with moderate illness. No patients in this cohort were hypoxaemic as a result of their pneumonia.

The authors also draw comparisons between adults and children with COVID-19 (less severe illness, less likely to have abnormal investigations), as well as comparing the clinical features and severity of COVID-19 with SARS (milder symptoms and severity) and H1N1 influenza (fewer symptoms, more frequent pneumonia) in children. Wisely, Qui & colleagues note the high rate of findings that are not clinically obvious, and the high proportion of asymptomatic cases make for very challenging case identification in the absence of clear epidemiologic information. “This finding suggests a dangerous situation if community-acquired infections occur.”

Su, LGai, ZEmerging Microbes and InfectionsThe different clinical characteristics of corona virus disease cases between children and their families in China - the character of children with COVID-1925 Mar 2020Asia9Clinical - Clinical Features

This study from the Jinan Infectious Disease Hospital retrospectively reviewed cases of nucleic acid-positive SARS-CoV-2 patients between 24th January to 24th February 2020 (detected using the (ORF1ab/N) nucleic acid detection kit by Bio-germ, Shanghai, China). Nine children and members of their family totalling 14 adults were included. Note that two family members missed enrollment as they were at another hospital. Of the 9 children, 6 were female (66%). The age group ranged from 11 months to 9 years and 9 months old (mean age 4.5 years). For eight of the nine children, there was history of their parents having travelled frequently, being in contact with someone from Wuhan or having worked or visited Wuhan. Of note, five of the discharged children were readmitted to hospital because their stool showed positive results in SARS-CoV-2 PCR.

Clinical Features (children): 3 of the 9 children had fever (33%) and one had cough (11.2%). Imaging (children): On chest x-ray and CT, two children had findings consistent with bronchitis (22.2%), one had bronchial pneumonia (11.1%) and a further one had pulmonary consolidation and ground glass opacity. From the two example images included,, findings appear to be bilateral but this was not specified in the body of the text. Bloods (children): 8 of 9 children (88.9%) had normal or decreased white blood cell counts. Six children (66.7%) had increased CK-MB. ALT, AST. All children had a normal CRP, PCT, ESR and IL-6. Clinical Features (adults): Of the 14 adults, 8 (57.1%) had fever, five had cough (35.7%), three had chest tightness or pain (21.4%), a further three had fatigue (21.4%) and one reported a sore throat (7.1%). Imaging (adults): Ten (71.4%) had abnormal imaging mainly pulmonary consolidation, with 7 (50%) having nodular shadow and 7 (50%) having ground glass opacities. Bloods (adults): Four (28.6%) had reduced whice cell count with seven (50%) having lymphocytopaenia.

Zheng, FJin, RCurrent Medical ScienceClinical characteristics of children with coronavirus disease 2019 in Hubei, China24 Mar 2020ChinaAsia25Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a retrospective case series of 25 children <14 years of age hospitalised with COVID-19 from 10 hospitals across the Hubei province between February 1st and February 10th 2020. It is unclear how the cases were ascertained. 14/25 were male (54%) and the median age was 3yrs (IQR 2-9yrs). Most patients were <3 years (40%). 2 patients had a background of repaired congenital heart disease (both infants), although we have no more detail than this. Both of these children went on to develop critical illness.Clinical features: 13/25 (52%) had fever, 11/25 (44%) had cough, 3/25 (12%) had diarrhoea, and 2/25 (8%) had nasal congestion, vomiting, breathlessness or abdominal pain.

Bloods: Inflammatory markers were not particularly raised, with a median CRP of 14.5mg/L (IQR 0.93 - 25). 10/25 (40%) patients had lymphopenia.

Radiology: CT chest was normal in 8/24 (32%) with unilateral involvement in 5/24 (20%) and bilateral in 12/24 (48%). Changes typically showed patchy shadows. Younger children appeared more likely to have bilateral lung findings than older children.

Co-infection: Other organisms identified included Mycoplasma pneumoniae (3/25, 12%), Influenza B (2/25, 8%) and one of the 2 critically ill children had Enterobacter aerogenes.

Lou, XTian, YJournal of Paediatrics and Child HealthThree children who recovered from novel coronavirus 2019 pneumonia22 Mar 2020ChinaAsia3Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a case series of 3 children diagnosed with COVID-19 and admitted in the Zhengzhou University Children’s hospital in Henan Province, China (dates not provided). They were 2 sisters aged 6 and 8yrs, and a 6m old infant. The children were all infected by a family member, although the family of the 6m infant had no link to Wuhan.

Clinical features: All 3 had a fever, 2 had nasal congestion and rhinitis alongside fatigue, diarrhoea, and headache. The 6yr old girl had a cough.

Radiology: All 3 patients had CT scans with bilateral infiltrates

Bloods: Not reported

Outcomes: No children required intensive care/intubation or had any severe complications. All have been discharged. The 2 sisters were treated with nebulized interferon.

Liu HLan WJournal of InfectionClinical and CT imaging features of the COVID-19 pneumonia: Focus on pregnant women and children21 Mar 2020ChinaAsia4Clinical - Clinical Features

This study is a review of CT imaging findings in children and pregnant women in a hospital in the Hubei Province. Four children with confirmed COVID-19 infection were included in the study. The bottom line is that pulmonary CT changes in children were mild, with either focal ground glass opacification or focal consolidation. Although CT has been reported as a useful screening tool in adults with suspected COVID-19 infection, the CT changes of the four children were non-specific; the authors conclude that exposure history and clinical symptoms are more helpful for screening in swab-negative children than CT. 41 pregnant women with either laboratory-confirmed or clinically-diagnosed COVID-19 infection were included in the study. All pregnant women had mild courses of their COVID-19 illnesses. Six of the 16 laboratory-confirmed pregnant women and 10 of the 25 clinically diagnosed pregnant women delivered during the study period. There were no cases of vertically transmitted COVID-19 in the neonates born to these pregnant women.

Case 1: 5 year old female with fever, cough and fatigue. No lymphadenopathy. Bloods: low WCC with raised lymphocytes and decreased neutrophil ratio. Normal CRP. CT: normal. Follow-up CT 9 days later remained normal.

Case 2: 11 month old male with fever and cough. No lymphadenopathy Bloods: normal WCC with raised lymphocyte count and decreased neutrophil ratio. Normal CRP. CT chest: single consolidation without peripheral predominance (unlike reported findings in adults).

Case 3: 9 year old female with fever but no cough. No lymphadenopathy. Bloods: normal WCC, low lymphocytes and normal neutrophil ratio. Normal CRP. CT chest: single ground glass opacity without peripheral predominance (unlike reported findings in adults).

Case 4: 2 month old male with cough but no fever. No lymphadenopathy. This infant was coinfected with RSV. Bloods: normal WCC with normal lymphocytes and normal neutrophil ratio. CRP raised (does not say how high). CT chest: multiple focal consolidations and pleural effusion. This infant’s CT findings were more severe than the other three children, thought to be due to coinfection with RSV.

Lu, XWong, GWKNEJMSARS-CoV-2 infection in children18 Mar 2020ChinaAsia171Clinical - Clinical Features

This retrospective study examines the clinical characteristics of children with confirmed COVID-19 diagnosed at Wuhan Children’s hospital. There were 1391 children tested between Jan 28th and Feb 26th 2020 due to known contact with a case of COVID-19, of these 171 were confirmed to have SARSCoV-2. Median age was 6.7yrs, and there was a relatively even spread amongst age groups. Children were predominantly male (104/171, 60.8%).

Clinical features: 83/171 had cough, 79/171 had pharyngeal inflammation (sore throat), 71/171 had fever. 15/171 had diarrhoea and 13/171 had rhinorrhoea. 49/171 were tachypnoeic on admission and 72/171 were tachycardia. Only 4/171 had Oxygen saturations <92% during hospitalisation. 0/31 infants <1yr were asymptomatic in this cohort, with rates of asymptomatic infection increasing with age. There were higher rates of pneumonia in infants (25/6), but the definition of this is unclear. We also have no information regarding co-infection with other viruses or bacteria.

Radiology: Not delineated into CXR or CT, but descriptions sound like CT findings. The most common was bilateral ground glass opacity (56/171) followed by unilateral patchy shadowing (32/171) and bilateral patchy shadowing (21/171). There were several children with radiographic pneumonia who were asymptomatic.

Bloods: The supplementary appendix contains lab results. Only 6/171 patients had lymphopaenia, the vast majority were in normal range (Med 2.9×109/L, IQR 2.2 – 4.4). CRP was elevated (>10mg/L) in 33/171 (Med 4, IQR 1.3 – 8) of which 27/33 had pneumonia.

Outcomes: 3 patients required ITU admission and intubation. All 3 had comorbidities, including hydronephrosis, leukaemia and intussusception. The child with intussusception suffered multiorgan failure and died after 4 weeks. The cause of death is not clear from the report. As of writing 149 patients had been discharged with 21 stable in the general wards.

Cui, YZha, YJournal of Infectious DiseasesA 55-day-old female infant infected with 2019 novel coronavirus disease: presenting with pneumonia, liver injury, and heart damage17 Mar 2020ChinaAsia1Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a case report of a 55 day old with SARS-CoV-2 who was admitted to hospital in China on February 2, 2020. She was treated with inhaled intereron-alpha-1b, amoxicillin, reduced glutathione, ursodeoxycholic acid, and traditional Chinese medicine lotus qingwen. The child was initially well, although her respiratory status worsened on day 2-6, and she required supplemental oxygen via nasal cannulae. Anal swabs on day 11 and 13 were positive on day 11-13 despite negative pharyngeal swabs.Note is made in the title of this study that the infant sustained liver injury and heart damage. This is on the basis of marginally elevated liver tranaminases and cardiac troponin measurements, for which it is unclear why the tests were performed. There is no indication of any clinical compromise demonstrated. It should be noted that a significant proportion of the child’s care (including investigations) would not be considered standard practice in UK/US/Aus paediatric medicine.

Zhang, CZhou, XMedRxIVClinical characteristics of 34 children with coronavirus disease-2019 in the West of China: a multiple-center case series16 Mar 2020ChinaAsia34Clinical - Clinical Features

A pre-print, the information should be treated with caution until it has undergone peer review.This is a further retrospective case study looking at 34 children with confirmed COVID-19 between Jan 1st and Feb 25th 2020 in 4 hospitals in Western China. They were aged 1 month to 12 years.

Clinical features: The most common symptom was fever (26/34) followed by cough (20/34), followed by vomiting (4/34) and diarrhoea (4/34). A significant number had co-infections (16/34) including Mycoplasma pneumoniae (9/34), influenza A or B (12/34) and 2/34 were mononucleosis. One child had a nephroblastoma and one had asthma. The median incubation period was 10 days (IQR 7.75 – 25.25) and median 3 days (IQ 2 – 4) from admission to fever resolution

Bloods: Lymphocytosis was most common (17/34). CRP was not significantly elevated (median 7.56ml/L, IQR 1.21 – 15.13), but was >5 for 20/34, and procalcitonin was not significantly elevated either (0.6, 0.03 – 0.07)

Radiography: On chest CT 14/34 had patchy shadows bilaterally, 14/34 unilaterally, and 6 had normal CT chest.

Ji, LJian, RWorld Journal of PediatricsClinical features of pediatric patients with COVID-19: a report of two family cluster cases16 Mar 2020ChinaAsia2Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a review of two confirmed paediatric cases of COVID-19 (both from oropharyngeal swabs) from two family clusters with recent travel to Wuhan. One child presented with fever and the other with diarrhoea.

Case one: 15-year-old boy presenting with a one-day history of fever. Clinical features: Temperature 37.9oC, pharyngeal congestion. Normal lung auscultation. Laboratory findings: mildly elevated white cell count at 11.82 x109/L, predominantly neutrophils (67.3%) and 25.7% lymphocytes. His CRP was mildly elevated at 35 mg/L. Radiological findings: normal unenhanced CT chest. Outcome: Symptomatic treatment. Symptoms disappeared after two days. Family information: both parents also tested positive for SARSCoV2.

Case two: 9-year-old boy presented with mild diarrhoea but no cough and no fever. Normal examination. Laboratory findings: normal white cell count and normal CRP. Radiological findings: normal unenhanced CT chest. Outcome. Treated with oral probiotic and symptoms disappeared after 2 days. Family information: Family members had negative COVID-19 swabs but were symptomatic. His mother presented with fever and cough with bilateral peripheral ground glass opacifications on CT chest. The child’s father and two-year old sister had normal CT chests but had mild symptoms consistent with COVID-19: his father had a cough for four days and his twoyear-old sister had a transient two-day low-grade fever.

Xu, YGong, SNature MedicineCharacteristics of pediatric SARS-CoV-2 infection and potential evidence for persistent fecal viral shedding13 Mar 2020ChinaAsia10Clinical - Clinical Features

This study presents the results of widespread screening for COVID-19 in Guangzhou in China. 745 children were screened of which 10 were positive for COVID-19. Their ages ranged from 2 months to 15 years.

Clinical features: 6/10 had a fever over 38oC. 5/10 had a cough. 4/10 had a sore throat. 2/10 had rhinorrhoea and 2/10 had diarrhoea.

Radiography: 7/10 had coarse lung markings on CXR with no pneumonia, and 3/10 were normal. CT scans revealed ground glass or patchy opacities in 5/10.Bloods: Basically normal in all cases

They made note that rectal swabs were frequently positive and that these swabs were positive for a longer duration than nasal swabs. The authors suggest on this basis that faecal-oral transmission may be possible, however this is very uncertain and will require further research to elucidate.

Xing, YXing, QmedRxivProlonged presence of SARS-CoV-2 in feces of pediatric patients during the convalescent phase13 March 2020ChinaAsia3Clinical - Clinical Features

A pre-print, the information should be treated again with caution until it has undergone peer review.

This study of 3 paediatric patients with COVID-19 from Qingdao, China (aged 1.5, 5 and 6 years) all had fevers and none were severe. All children had elevated lymphocytes (>4.4 x 109/L) and 2 of 3 had abnormalities on chest CT (consolidation in one and ground glass changes in the other). The primary point made in the paper is that whilst respiratory swabs were negative within 2 weeks after children became afebrile, stool remained positive for over 4 weeks.

Liu, WLiu, YNEJMDetection of COVID-19 in children in early January 2020 in Wuhan, China12 Mar 2020ChinaAsia6Clinical - Clinical Features

This letter to the editor describes a case series from Tongji hospital in Wuhan, China, taken from a cohort of 366 hospitalized children between January 7th and 15th 2020. 6 children were PCR Positive for COVID-19. Of the 6 patients, age range 1-7 years. All had fever >39oC, cough and 4/6 had vomiting. All had lymphocytopenia, with 4/6 leukopenia and 3/6 with neutropenia. One child required an ICU admission, receiving pooled donor IVIG. The median recovery time was 7.5 days. Authors surmise COVID-19 occurs in children with some moderate-severe episodes of illness.

Li, WLi, SPediatric RadiologyChest computed tomography in children with COVID-19 respiratory infection11 Mar 2020ChinaAsia5Clinical - Clinical Features

This study describes five children with confirmed COVID-19 who had CT chest scans in a large tertiary level hospital in China. Three of the five children had patchy ground-glass opacities on their CT scans but these changes were less severe than those seen in infected adults. The treatment is not detailed in the paper, so presented as published in this summary.

Case 1: 17 month old asymptomatic male. Bloods: CRP 9.4, WCC 9.2. Radiology: CT chest performed on day 4 showed patchy ground glass opacities. Repeat CT on day 9 after treatment had normalised (antiviral, anti-infective, immunoglobulin, interferon and Lianhua qingwen granules). No CXR.

Case 2: 10 month old asymptomatic female. Bloods: CRP 0.9, WCC 14.8. Radiology: Day 2 scan: normal. Not repeated. No CXR.

Case 3: 3 year old male with coryza, productive cough, sore throat and fever after 3 days. Bloods: CRP 0.7, WCC 15.0. Radiology: Day 9 CT showed patchy ground-glass opacities. Repeat CT on day 16 had normalised after treatment (antiviral, anti-infective, immunoglobulin). No CXR.

Case 4: 4 year old asymptomatic male. Bloods: CRP 0.2, WCC 6.6. Radiology: Day 2 CT chest showed patchy ground-glass opacities. Repeat CT on day 7 had normalised after treatment (montelukast, immunoglobulin). No CXR.

Case 5: 6 year old asymptomatic male. Bloods: CRP 0.6, WCC 5.3. Radiology:

Day 3 CT was normal. No CXR.

Xu, R.Hu, XQuantit Imag Med and SurgCT imaging of one extended family cluster of corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) including adolescent patients and "silent infection" 10 Mar 2020China Asia1Clinical - Clinical Features
Bahar, BDelaney, MJ Peds Kinetics of viral clearance and antibody production across age groups in children with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection09 Mar 2020United StatesNorth America641Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a retrospective study of SARS-CoV-2 viral clearance and antibody production in children. Children with who were tested with a nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test from March to June 2020 at Children’s National Hospital Washington, US were included.

Overall, there were 641 positive RT-PCR tests in 592 patients (median of 1 test per patient, max 6 tests) and 5777 negative tests (median of 1 test per patient, max 15 tests). 68 patients had more than 1 RT-PCR test. Of the 238 serological tests done, 69 were positive in a total of 58 patients (median of 1 test per patient).

The median duration of RT-PCR positivity was 19.5 days. Of note, children aged 6-15 years had a longer duration of RT-PCR positivity compared with older children (16-22 years) (median 32 vs 18 days). The median time to achieve positive serology was 18 days, however, to reach sufficient levels of neutralising antibodies was 36 days. IgG class antibodies against the S1 and S2 glycoproteins were detected in blood samples of children prior to viral clearance.

This study provides further insight into the kinetics viral clearance and the antibody response in children infected with SARS-CoV-2. The prolonged period of RT-PCR positivity is consistent with other studies in children and adults. Importantly, it is unknown whether this period of PCR positivity correlates with ongoing shedding of viable virus particles capable of transmission. Unfortunately, this study did not include details of symptoms associated with the laboratory results.

Xia, WHu, DPediatric PulmonologyClinical and CT features in pediatric patients with COVID-19 infection: different points from adults05 Mar 2020ChinaAsia20Clinical - Clinical Features

A case series of 20 paediatric patients with COVID-19 infection identified with COVID-19 NAT on pharyngeal swabs from Wuhan Children’s Hospital. It reviews the clinical information and co-infections.

Clinical features: two thirds had a clear contact history. Incubation 24hrs28 days of life. 13/20 had a cough, 12/20 had a fever. Bloods: 11/20 had (N) CRP, i.e. less than 3mg/L and 80% had PCT >0.05.

Radiology: On CT: Subpleural findings were seen in all 20 patients. 50% had bilateral findings, with a further 6/20 with unilateral findings. Consolidation with a halo in 50% of cases, considered as atypical signs in paediatric patien. Chloral hydrate was the primary sedative for CTs These were predominantly mild cases in the paediatric patients, with CXR adding little diagnostically. An early chest CT exam seemed to be necessary. 9/20 had coinfection, most commonly with mycoplasma (4/9) – although the ‘flu B,’flu A or RSV accounted for almost all of the remainder

Despite this, the physical chest symptoms were mild, with retraction in one case, and another case with cyanosis.

The average length of stay 12.9 days. Some patients were managed on the basis of their CT alone. These are similar to those seen in adults.

Lan, L.Xu, H. Korean J Radiol Early CT Findings of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Asymptomatic Children: A Single-Center Experience.04 Mar 2020China Asia4Clinical - Clinical Features
Zhu, YFeng, SJournal of Infection Clinical and CT imaging features of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19)03 Mar 2020ChinaAsia1Clinical - Clinical Features
Dong YJiang ZPediatrics Epidemiological Characteristics of 2143 Pediatric Patients With 2019 Coronavirus Disease in China01 Mar 2020ChinaAsia2143Clinical - Clinical Features

This landmark paper is a retrospective epidemiological study of 2143 pediatric patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 (Jan 16 – Feb 8 2020) from in and around Hubei province in China. Confirmed cases were diagnosed by PCR of NPA or blood or genetic sequencing from the respiratory tract or blood highly homologous with SARS-CoV-2. To be a suspected case you needed to be high risk (based on community exposure) with any 2 of: fever, respiratory symptoms or diarrhoea/vomiting; normal or lower white cell count +/- raised CRP; abnormal CXR. If you were medium/low risk for community exposure, you could still be a suspected case if you met any 2 of the above criteria and had other respiratory viruses excluded. Patients were classed according to severity.

There were 731 (34.1%) laboratory-confirmed and 1412 (65.9%) suspected cases. The median age was 7 years. There were 94 (4.4%) asymptomatic, 1091 (50.9%) mild and 831 (38.8%) moderate, accounting for 94.1% of all cases. Of note, the youngest patients (under 1yr) had the highest proportion of severe and critical illness (10.6%). However, this group also had the highest proportion of “suspected” disease (293/379) – of which we do not know how many had an infection with RSV, HPMV or Flu. This was peak bronchiolitis season. There was one death in a 14yr old boy, for which there are no clinical details available. The highest proportion of asymptomatic cases was in the 6-10yr olds (31.9%), for whom there was no recorded critical illness. Critical illness was uncommon in general (0.6% of all cases). The median time from illness onset to diagnosis was 2 days. Chest imaging was emphasized in delineating the severity (CXR and CT). There are also some interesting epidemiology graphs which essentially map to the well-described adult prevalence of disease and demonstrate Hubei as the epicentre.This large cohort study provides reassuring data about the severity of illness of COVID-19 in children. There is an indication that younger infants may be most likely to be affected most severely, however, this cohort is highly likely to contain children with normal, severe, winter viral infections such as bronchiolitis. Critical illness was extremely rare.

Kai-qian, KThoon, KCClinical Infectious DiseasesA well infant with coronavirus disease 2019 with high viral load28 Feb 2020SingaporeAsia1Clinical - Clinical Features

This was a case report of a single 6-month-old with a positive nasopharyngeal swab until D16 of admission to hospital. There had been household transmission. There was a positive NPA with rt-PCR on D1 of admission although the child was asymptomatic – daily swabs remained positive until D17. The child was febrile once during the course of admission although they remained asymptomatic. Blood and stool tests were positive on D2.

They had essentially normal investigations except for a neutropenia.

Cai, JZeng, MClinical Infectious DIseasesA case series of children with 2019 novel coronavirus infection: clinical and epidemiological features28 Feb 2020ChinaAsia10Clinical - Clinical Features

This retrospective study examines 10 children diagnosed with confirmed COVID-19 between 19th Jan and 3rd February 2020 at the Children’s hospital in Shanghai. The age range is from 3 months to 11 years. None had comorbidities. There were no severe cases.

Clinical features: The assumed incubation period (time from exposure to index case to developing symptoms) was between 2 – 10 days, but median (and mode) 7 days. With regard to symptoms, 7/10 had fever >38oC, 6/10 had a cough, 4/10 had a sore throat, 3/10 had nasal congestion, 2/10 had rhinorrhea and 2/10 were sneezing.

Radiology: The chest x-ray was normal in 6/10. The rest had unilateral opacities.

Bloods: Lymphocyte counts were normal in 9/10, raised in one case. CRP ranged from 0.5mg/L to 35mg/L but was <10 for 7/10. Procalcitonin was normal (<0.25) in all children. 2 patients had a mild elevation of ALT (100U/L) or AST (142U/L and 51U/L) Detection of SARS-CoV-2: Virus was found in NP/throat swabs in all patients, and the duration of shedding ranged from 6-22 days (Median 12 days). Stool shedding was prolonged, over 30 days in one patient. No urine was positive, and no serum positive.

Chen, CWang, FLancet pre-print serverCoronavirus disease-19 among children outside Wuhan, China25 Feb 2020ChinaAsia31Clinical - Clinical Features

A pre-print, the information should be treated with caution until it has undergone peer review. This is a prospective case series of 31 paediatric cases of COVID-19 diagnosed at the Shenzen Third Peoples hospital between Jan 16th and Feb 19th 2020. This made up 7.9% of all cases diagnosed in Shenzen. They were all confirmed by PCR. None had been exposed to the seafood market in WUhan. The patients received nebulised interferon and, IV ribavirin or oral lopinovir/ritonavir. The median age was 6.75, with most patients (41.9%) aged 5-9. Followed by 0-4yrs (32.2%) and 10-14yrs (19.4%). 41.9% were male.Clinical features: 12/31 Children were asymptomatic. Fever was observed in 14/31, Cough in 13/41, Sore throat in 2/31, Rhinorrhoea in 22/31 and diarrhoea in 2/31. Median duration of fever was 2 days, with a range of 1–9 days. Bloods: Lymphopaenia was not observed. Lymphocytosis occurred in 17/31 patients. CRP was elevated in 4/31 patients. Radiology: On admission 64.5% of CT were normal, with 25% having unilateral pneumonia and 9.7% having bilateral. During hospitalization one child developed a unilateral pneumonia whose radiography was initially normal. Outcome: 23 children had been discharged at the time of writing, and the remainder were well and afebrile.

Xu, XWLi, LJBMJClinical findings in a group of patients infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outside of Wuhan, China: a retrospective case series19 Feb 2020ChinaAsia2Clinical - Clinical Features

This study looks at a group of 62 patients with COVID-19 in a province outside of Wuhan (Hubei). 2 of these were children, aged 10 and 11. There is a lot of clinical data in the paper but it is not broken down by age, so we cannot make any inference on behalf of the paediatric patients.

Wei, MLiu, YJAMANovel coronavirus infection in hospitalized infants under 1 year of age in China14 Feb 2020ChinaAsia9Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a case series of, from Dec 8 2019 to Feb 6 2020, from China of 9 infants – all of whom had been hospitalised.

Clinical presentation: 4/9 fever, 2/9 mild URTI symptoms, 1/9 were asymptomatic. All had family members that were COVID-19 positive. There were no severe complications or ICU admissions.

Parri, NMasi, SPediatrics COVID-19 in 17 Italian Pediatric Emergency Departments09 Jan 2020ItalyEurope170Clinical - Clinical Features

This is a retrospective review of 170 children with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 who presented to Italian emergency departments between March and May 2020. Children in this cohort had a median age of 45 months and 38 (22%) had a comorbidity. Interestingly, under half (70; 41%) had a family member with confirmed SARS-CoV-2, while 21 (12%) had travelled to areas with documented community transmission. Seven (4%) children were infected from an unknown source.

Similar to other cohort studies, the most common symptoms at presentation were fever (48%), cough (43%), decreased feeding (35%) and rhinorrhoea (20%). Of the 13 children (8%) who required respiratory support, 6 had a pre-existing comorbidity. 17% of children who were SARS-CoV-2 positive were asymptomatic.

A chest X-ray was done in 62 children (36%) and showed unilateral patchy infiltrate with ground-glass changes in 20 (32%) and pneumonia in 14 (32%). Chest CT was done in 3 children and 2 had interstitial abnormalities. Point-of-care lung ultrasound was used in 13 (8%) children as an alternative to other imaging modalities, and as an adjunct in 2 children. Of these, 11 (84%) had sonographic features of interstitial disease and 5 showed an additional consolidation.

Three children in this series met criteria for MIS-C. All were febrile with elevated inflammatory markers and received intravenous immunoglobulin and steroids.

This retrospective cohort study is comparable to other similar studies describing cohorts in China, Europe and the United States. Of note, this series included a larger proportion of children <1 year of age and who had only mild symptoms or were completely asymptomatic, likely explained due to differences in testing criteria between countries. The utility of point-of-care ultrasound was demonstrated for diagnosing more severe disease without exposing children to radiation.

Brisca, GMoscatelli, AActa PaediatrClinical course of COVID‐19 in children with pre‐existing medical conditions21 12 2020ItalyEurope37Clinical - Comorbidities

This is a short report of a study (the authors call it a prospective study) of the clinical course of 37 children with pre-existing medical conditions who were diagnosed with COVID-19 after they presented at the children’s hospital in Genoa, Italy. This is a subset of the total 167 children who presented between 21st March and 15th November 2020, the other 130 having no identified pre-existing condition. Data was extracted from their electronic record.

The data is presented in a table in the supplementary information. Generally, the mild course but diverse clinical features of COVID-19 in children was seen.

• 10 of the children had known respiratory disease (9 asthma) but there was a diverse range of other pre-existing conditions

• 13 were admitted to HDU, 16 to a general paediatric ward and 8 did not require admission. None required ICU

• 30(81%) of the children had no respiratory symptoms and only 2 required oxygen support

The authors state that although the risk of severe COVID-19 was low in their cohort, children with pre-existing conditions need to be carefully assessed and monitored. They note that further data is required to define management guidelines for high-risk children.

The children in this study presented over an 8-month period and there is no reference to the fact that knowledge of the course and treatment of COVID-19 in children increased during that period and the authors references are all from the earlier period of the pandemic.

Tsankov, BJacobson, KIntnl J of Inf DisSevere COVID-19 Infection and Pediatric Comorbidities: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.20 Nov 2020WorldwideInternational285014Clinical - Comorbidities

This systematic review and meta-analysis, published on 20th November 2020, of 42 studies (totalling 275,661 children without comorbidities and 9,353 children with comorbidities), investigated the effects of paediatric comorbidities on COVID-19 severity.

Study selection: The authors of this review, who are based in Canada (mainly at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver), searched PubMed, Medline and Embase databases for articles published between 1st January and 5th October 2020 about SARS-CoV-2 infection in paediatric patients (defined as under 21 years of age), in accordance with PRISMA recommendations. An initial 13,310 articles were screened: of the remaining 808 assessed for eligibility, 98 articles in English had paediatric study participants with pre-existing comorbidities and COVID-19 for which clear outcomes were reported. After literature grading 86 were analysed, of which only 42 studies had paediatric case-control participants without comorbidities with either severe COVID-19 and/or COVID-19-associated mortality. 5 studies only examined children who died from COVID-19 and were therefore only included in the mortality analysis. Studies were from the USA 18/42 (43%), China 4/42 (10%), Italy 4/42 (10%), Spain 4/42 (10%), France 3/42 (7%), UK 2/42 (5%), Iran 2/42 (5%), Austria 1/42 (2%), Brazil 1/42 (2%), India 1/42 (2%), Turkey 1/42 (2%), Uruguay 1/42 (2%). Extracted data included disease severity, PICU admission and mortality. Severe COVID-19 was defined as any SARS-CoV-2 infection requiring supplemental help to normal breathing and/or PICU admission.

Study patient characteristics: From the 42 articles 285,014 paediatric patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were identified, of which 9,353 (3.3%) had at least one underlying comorbidity. Data on gender was available for 280,999 patients: 50.7% female, 49.9% male. Age category data was only available in 362 children. The comorbidities break down as follows: chronic respiratory 49%, immune 8.1%, cardiovascular 6.6%, metabolic 5.9%, obesity 5.4%, neurological 2.3%, renal 1.5%, haematological 1%, cancer 0.9%, hepatobiliary 0.8%, allergy 0.5%, GI 0.3%, other 17.4%.

Relative risk of paediatric comorbidities on severe COVID-19: Severe COVID-19 and/or PICU admission in paediatric patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection: with comorbidities 481/9,353 (5.1%) versus without comorbidities 579/275,661 (0.21%). Relative risk of severe COVID-19 and/or PICU admission among children with comorbidities relative to those without: 1.79 (95% CI 1.27–2.51; 𝜒2=602.31 (P < 0.001), I2=94%) (37/42 studies included in this analysis since 5 studies only examined COVID-19-associated deaths). 7 studies had a higher risk ratio of severe COVID-19 among those without comorbidities versus those with. Individual exclusion of each of the 37 studies from the analysis didn’t significantly influence the risk ratio in either direction.

Relative risk of paediatric comorbidities on mortality associated with COVID-19 infection: 19/42 articles reported children who died with COVID-19. Across these 19 articles, only 77/274,647 (0.03%) paediatric patients without comorbidities died across 8 studies versus 134/8,960 (1.5%) with comorbidities across 15 studies. Relative risk of mortality among paediatric patients with comorbidities and COVID-19 relative to those without: 2.81 (95% CI 1.31–6.02; 𝜒2 = 97.85 (P < 0.001); I2 = 82%). In only 5 of the studies did children with comorbidities have a lower risk of mortality during the course of COVID-19. Again, subsequent sensitivity analysis confirmed that no one article significantly affected the relative risk ratio.

Relative risk of obesity on severe COVID-19: Defined as BMI greater than or equal to the 95th percentile for children of the same age and sex. Analysis performed only on the 6 studies including case-control participants. Relative risk of severe COVID-19 in children with obesity relative to children without comorbidities: 2.87 (95% CI 1.16–7.07; 𝜒2 = 7.81 (P = 0.17); I2 = 36%).

Limitations identified by authors: There will be variation in PICU admission criteria across the studies and there may be selection bias of PICU admissions in favour of children with underlying conditions. There is a high degree of study heterogeneity and many studies were of small sample size. The meta-analysis was not able to capture the relative risk that comorbidities other than obesity contribute to severe COVID-19, because of the sub-population heterogeneity of comorbidities, which limits the ability to draw accurate comparisons between the studies. Testing of asymptomatic and pauci-symptomatic children is very limited, so mild cases among children with comorbidities are likely to be underrepresented.

Conclusions: Children with comorbidities have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 and associated mortality than children without underlying disease. Childhood obesity was shown to be associated with a more severe course of disease.

Nepogodiev, DBSJFavourable perioperative outcomes for children with SARS‐CoV‐219 Oct 2020United KingdomInternational88Clinical - Comorbidities

To better understand the surgical risks for children with confirmed SARS-CoV-2, CovidSurg, a multicentre, observational, international cohort study summarised observations of paediatric SARSCoV-2 surgical patients whose diagnosis had been made from 7 days before to 30 days after surgery and in whom surgery was carried out between 1st January and April 30, 2020. On the ground surgical interventions for children were commonly being delayed or cancelled during the foregone Covid-19 pandemic wave due to concerns for risk of nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infections, concern for perioperative complications and constrained resources for routine surgery. The authors concerns expanded to include health complications when children’s surgical treatments were delayed or cancelled.

Fifty-two hospitals in 21 countries participated. Assessed were 5,388 patients, of whom 88 were children were under 16 years of age, 56 (63.6%). Diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 was preoperative was in 48(56%) of the children.The majority (89%) of the children required emergency surgery. The distribution of the disease conditions included benign conditions (81%), trauma (11%) and cancer (8%). There was one death (1/88) in the 30 day post-operative period, low compared to confirmed SARSCoV-2 adult post-operative mortality of 23.8% referred to in this research letter. Pulmonary complications (pneumonia/acute respiratory syndrome or unexpected post-operative ventilation problem) occurred in 12 of the 88 (13.6%) children, also considered low compared to adult pulmonary complications of 51.2% in confirmed SARS-CoV-2 post-operative adults reported in the research letter.

This research letter informs but it probably only begins asking the question whether less restrictive surgical rationing policies should be considered for children. The authors’ call for further studies toward answering the question raised is supported. Due to the likelihood of the influence of age and other likely confounders in the adult perioperative SARS-CoV-2 confirmed patients referred to by the authors in the research letter, observation of matched cohorts of perioperative paediatric surgical patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 and those without may be a further worthwhile scenario to explore

Kabesch Msingle authorPed Allergy ImmunologyShielding against SARS‐Cov‐2 infection is not justified in children with severe asthma05 Aug 2020EuropeEurope0Clinical - Comorbidities

In the UK, severe asthma was one of the diagnoses which mandated ‘shielding’, i.e. remaining at home at all times, during the lockdown, for children and adults. Some doubted whether this was necessary. This brief report suggests that the doubters were right. Using a database which was originally designed to monitor the use of biologic treatments in severe asthma, the author surveyed 37 major asthma centres in 25 European countries. None of the centres were aware of any symptomatic COVID-19 case from March-July 2020 in any of the roughly 1000 children included.

So was this because shielding prevented it? No, because they compared the 4 countries with strict shielding policies (including the UK) with the others where precautions for asthmatics were the same as everyone else. There was no difference.They conclude that shielding is unnecessary, even in the most severe asthmatics.

Wilkes, MRapaport RJ of PediatricsSevere COVID-19 in Children and Young Adults.23 Jun 2020USANorth America10Clinical - Comorbidities
Kulkarni, RKJadhav, TIndian Journal of PaediatricsFatal Covid-19 in a Malnourished Child with Megaloblastic Anemia17 Jun 2020IndiaAsia1Clinical - Comorbidities
Yuksel, MAriKan, CEur J Gastroenterol HepatolImmune monitoring of a child with autoimmune hepatitis and type 1 diabetes during COVID-19 infection16 Jun 2020TurkeyMiddle East1Clinical - Comorbidities
Akcabelen, Y. M.Yarali, N.Pediatr Blood Cancer: e28443.COVID‐19 in a child with severe aplastic anemia15 Jun 2020TurkeyMiddle East1Clinical - Comorbidities
Cesaro, S.Petris, MGPaediatr Blood CancerScreening for SARS-CoV-2 infection in pediatric oncology patients during the epidemic peak in Italy15 Jun 2020ItalyEurope282Clinical - Comorbidities

Observational study of nasopharyngeal presence of SARS-CoV-2 in a cohort of 282 paediatric oncology patient presenting for scheduled care at 14 specialist centres in Italy between 20/02/20 and 19/04/20. Median age for oncology cases (n=247) was 7 years (range 0-17.9) and for stem cell transplant (SCT) patients (n=35) was 9.6 years (range 0.3-17.6). 10/334 swabs from the oncology group were +ve and 0/56 from the SCT group. Only 2/10 NPS +ve patients had any symptoms (both "mild fever").

Chemotherapy was paused for all NPS +ve patients until 2 clear swabs were obtained 24 hours apart. No adverse outcomes were recorded up to the study end but follow up was only reported up to 30/04/20. This study demonstrates that paediatric oncology patients can remain asymtomatic whilst carrying SARS-CoV-2 in the nasopharynx, and recover spontaneously, without any apparent increased rate of adverse outcomes. Researchers raise the question of whether routine chemotherapy needs to be paused for asymptomatic NP carriage of SARS-CoV-2 but present no evidence for the safety of this course of action.

Flores, VLenica A, CAnn Hematol.SARS-CoV-2 infection in children with febrile neutropenia12 Jun 2020MexicoSouth America3Clinical - Comorbidities

This letter to Annals of Hematology offers a brief description of three children with ALL who presented with febrile illness and were found to be SARS-CoV2 PCR positive. The letter is of note as sadly one of the children died during this illness following cardiac arrest; the authors offer the paper to highlight the occurrence of SARS CoV2 in febrile neutropenic patients; however it prompts further analysis of those cases of severe infection in the context of immunosuppression.

The patients were identified at a centre in Mexico however the time period is not known. The three patients were aged 4yrs, 8yrs and 9yrs. All had ALL, two receiving consolidation chemotherapy and one on immunosuppression with mycophenolate and prednisolone. The latter patient had undergone HSCT for ALL, the time since HSCT was not provided, however this patient was admitted from the community suggesting she wasn’t in the immediate post-transplant period. All patients developed neutropenia either at time of fever or quickly following it and similarly evolved to have ‘respiratory symptoms’. All had negative blood cultures however results of other virology is not provided. Over-all pre-covid health status is not provided within the letter and this might be helpful in understanding the severity of symptoms in the patient who died.

The child who died was 8 years old and presented with febrile neutropenia, they were on mycophenolate and prednisolone following HSCT for ALL. The child quickly developed respiratory distress and required invasive mechanical ventilation; a heamodynamic deterioration led to cardiac arrest and resuscitation measures failed.

The distinguishing features of this child was her immunosuppression and history of HSCT, she was also more profoundly lymphopenic and thrombocytopenic. All other laboratory values were variable between all three patients. Further information on her overall cardiorespiratory status pre-SARS-CoV-2 would be helpful to understand her vulnerabilities and to guide management of children presenting with similar comorbidities in the future.

Gine, CLopez, MJ Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A .Thoracoscopic Bullectomy for Persistent Air Leak in a 14-Year-Old Child With COVID-19 Bilateral Pulmonary Disease11 Jun 2020SpainEurope1Clinical - Comorbidities
Anurathapan, U.Hongeng, S.Bone Marrow Transplantation; stem cell transplantation from an infected SARS-CoV2 donor sibling11 Jun 2020ThailandAsia2Clinical - Comorbidities
Du, HGao, YAllergyClinical characteristics of 182 pediatric COVID‐19 patients with different severities and allergic status10 Jun 2020ChinaAsia183Clinical - Comorbidities
Sabatino, JDi Salvo, GJ Clin MedCOVID-19 and Congenital Heart Disease: Results from a Nationwide Survey08 Jun 2020ItalyEurope4Clinical - Comorbidities
Alloway, B. C.Hardy, G.Radiology Case reports Suspected case of COVID-19-associated pancreatitis in a child.06 Jun 2020USANorth America1Clinical - Comorbidities
Wahlster, LSankaran, VG Pediatr Blood CancerCOVID-19 presenting with autoimmune hemolytic anemia in the setting of underlying immune dysregulation.03 Jun 2020USANorth America1Clinical - Comorbidities
Tennuri, UMiyatani, HClinics (Sao Paulo)Low Incidence of COVID-19 in Children and Adolescent Post-Liver Transplant at a Latin American Reference Center03 Jun 2020BrazilSouth America6Clinical - Comorbidities
Mirzaree, SMMVossough, ARadiologyFocal Cerebral Arteriopathy in a COVID-19 Pediatric Patient 02 Jun 2020IranMiddle East1Clinical - Comorbidities
Harman KGupta ALancetEthnicity and COVID-19 in children with comorbidities28 May 2020UKEurope12Clinical - Comorbidities

Between 25 February 2020 and 28 April 2020, 12h children aged 0 to 16 years with confirmed COVID-19 who required admission to hospital were prospectively identified at Kings College Hospital London. 5 of these had known comorbidities (identified here as Group A) and 7 had no known comorbidities (Group B).

Age: Median age of Group A was 7.1yrs (range 0.2-15.3 with 2 <1 yr) and Group B was 4.8yrs (range 0-15.4).

Gender: 40% (n=2) in Group A and 71% (n=5) in Group B are male gender.

Ethnicity: 80% (n=4) in Group A and 71% (n=5) in Group B were from a black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) group.

Comorbidities: In Group A pre-existing comorbidities included cerebral palsy, prematurity, Wilsons disease, and dilated cardiomyopathy.

Clinical features: Most common symptoms on admission in group A and B respectively were fever (60%, n 3/5 and 86% n 6/7) and tachypnoea (60% n 3/5 and 71% n5/7). Liver dysfunction was observed in 4/5 patients in Group A but 2 had underlying liver conditions including one with Wilsons disease who has since had a liver transplant.

Radiology: In Group A radiological evidence of new infiltrates was seen in 50% (n2/4) of patients in Group A who had an x-ray because of clinical indication.

Bloods: In Group A 3 /5 patients had lymphopenia and thrombocytopenia, 3 /4 had raised CRP, 4/5 had liver dysfunction but 2 of these had underlying liver disease, 1/5 had renal dysfunction. None had symptoms that would be compatible with multisystem inflammatory syndrome. No blood data given for Group B.

Outcome: Median length of stay in hospital for Group A was 20 days (range 7-84 days) with 1child with liver transplant still an inpatient on 20th May 2020. For Group B the median stay was 3 days ( range 1-8 days); 1 admitted to hospital for safeguarding concerns and another was a neonate with vertical transmission of Covid-19.

Other salient feature: During this period 2288 adults were admitted to Kings College Hospital so children only formed 0.5% of total admissions. in Group A all children received antibiotics, 1 remdesivir and 1 hydroxychloroquine.

This case study presents data on 12 children with COVID-19 (5 of whom had comorbidities) admitted to Kings College Hospital London during 25th Feb-28th April 2020.

It is noteworthy that 75% of the total children admitted with Covid-19 and 80% of 5 children who had comorbidities were from a black, Asian, and minority (BAME) communities. Even keeping in mind that in Inner London 39% of the population is BAME, this data suggests that ethnicity in children may be an independent risk factor for severe disease. Conclusion is that Children from BAME communities particularly if they have comorbidities, may be at greater risk of severe disease from COVID-19. This is particularly significant given the ongoing investigation into the increased rates of severe COVID-19 infection in adults from BAME backgrounds.

This is a relatively new observation in children and although the numbers are very small, justifies considering this paper to be important.

Ferrari, ABalduzzi, APediatr Blood CancerChildren with cancer in the time of COVID-19: An 8-week report from the six pediatric onco-hematology centers in Lombardia, Italy26 May 2020ItalyEurope286Clinical - Comorbidities

This Letter to the Editor describes the findings of 6 paediatric haematology and oncology centres in Lombardy during the 8 weeks after the COVID-19 pandemic began in Italy. Between 20th February 2020 and 15th April 2020 286 patients were tested for COVID-19 when accessing services at these centres: 74 were symptomatic, 25 had close contact with a diagnosed case and 187 were tested for screening purposes. Of these, 21 cases tested positive for COVID-19, with a median age of 6 years (range 1-17 years) and 48% were male.

Of the 21 cases 10 had leukaemia, 5 had soft tissue or bone sarcoma, 2 had lymphoma, two had hepatoblastoma, 1 had a CNS tumour and 1 had colon carcinoma. 15 patients were currently receiving treatment while 6 had completed treatment and were receiving follow up.

Clinical features: 1 patient (who had existing neurological respiratory impairment) developed aspiration pneumonia requiring respiratory support, and 1 developed atypical bilateral pneumonia with mild symptoms.

Outcomes: There were no deaths related to COVID-19 infection. Cancer treatment was modified in 10 cases (delaying chemotherapy, reducing drug doses and postponing surgery).

The authors observe that despite the overwhelming rate of COVID-19 in the general population in the region at the time, relatively few paediatric cancer patients were symptomatic, or tested positive for the virus, and that severe illness was rare. They suggest that these results may indicate that paediatric anti-cancer treatments could continue without major adjustments, especially as alterations may reduce their efficacy.

Of note, these centres experienced a reduction in newly diagnosed cancer cases to 55% of the expected rate, which may reflect delayed access to healthcare services.

Issitt, RWSebire, NJmedRxivCoronavirus (COVID-19) infection in children at a specialist centre: outcome and implications of underlying high-risk comorbidities in a paediatric population25 May 2020UKEurope166Clinical - Comorbidities

A retrospective cohort study published by Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), London, UK suggested children who are defined as vulnerable in the COVID-19 pandemic era do not appear to be at significantly increased risk of being admitted to hospital with COVID-19. In addition, the vulnerable group have similar outcomes to those who are COVID-19 negative. However, the authors do identify children undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy are ‘over-represented’ in the vulnerable group. Data was collected from the institution’s electronic health record system. The inclusion criteria were any patient admitted between 01/03/2020 and 15/05/2020 who was admitted with features suggestive of COVID-19 based on the attending clinician’s interpretation, of undefined grade, including fever, cough and “systemic symptoms”. Children were defined as COVID-19 positive by a positive PCR test for nucleic acid in respiratory or blood specimens performed at the referring or presenting hospital or a documented positive familial test. Patients were classified as vulnerable if they fulfilled the high risk shielded list from NHS digital or the institutions local policy that was not provided. Due to the nature of the specialist paediatric services the population of children were highly selected.

166 children fulfilled the criteria; 65 (38.7%) were COVID positive and 101 (60.8%) were negative. The average age for COVID positive group was 9 years [IQR 0.9-14] with 38 (58.5%) males. This compared to the COVID-19 negative group with an average age of 1 year [0.1-5.75], 58 (55.4%) male. The COVID-19 positive patients were significantly older (p<0.001). Differences in ethnicity frequency was statistically significant for Asian ethnicity: 12 (8.5%) COVID-19 positive compared to 6 (5.9%) in the COVID-19 negative group (p=0.02).

The number of vulnerable children who were COVID-19 positive totalled 31 (47.7%) compared to 73 who were COVID-19 negative (72.3%), demonstrating a lower number of vulnerable children were positive for COVID-19, (p=0.002).

Clinical features: Breakdown of symptoms were not provided

Radiology: N/A

Bloods (For those COVID-19 positive):

ALT 41.5 U/L [IQR 29-74], Albumin 32 g/L [IQR 27-36], AntiDNAse 310U/mL [80.8-402], AntiStreptolysin O 285 IU/mL [134-384], AST 70 U/L [43-100], CRP 28 mg/L [10-74], CK 63.5 U/L [35-214], Creatinine 23 umol/L [14-46], D-dimer 1876 ug/L [1043-3618], Ferritin 788 ug/L [445-1863], Fibrinogen 3.65 g/L [2.4-4.8], Interleukin-6 50 pg/ml [50-152], Interleukin-10 50pg/mL, LDH 848 U/L [654-1136], BNP 3550 pg/ml [626-6992], Lymphocytes 1.44 X10^9/L [0.64-2.49], Neutrophils 3.90X10^9/L [1.46-8.6], WBC 8X10^9/L [3.38-13.2], Troponin I 54 ng/L [13-157], Prothrombin time 12 seconds [11.3-13], bilirubin 6 umol/L [3-10], Triglycerides 2.48 mmol/L [1.65-3.56].

The results highlight the difference in results between the COVID positive and negative groups but do not define further differences between vulnerable and non-vulnerable groups. These include a statistically higher average CRP (p=0.002, fibrinogen (p<0.001), albumin (p0.02) neutrophil (p<0.001) and white blood cell count (p<0.001) and a lower LDH (p=0.002),

Treatments: Patient were treated following national or speciality specific guidance. No further information was provided.

Outcomes: Mortality for those who were COVID-19 was 1 (1.5%) who was in the vulnerable group. Additional comments described the primary focus of treatment was aspiration pneumonia. This compared to 4 (4%) in the non-COVID-9 group, all of whom were in the vulnerable group. The difference in mortality rates was not statistically significant.

There was no difference in the proportion of vulnerable patients based on their COVID-19 status: 61% of vulnerable patients who were COVID-19 positive compared to 64.3% who were negative, (p = 0.84). Overall, comparing all patients, a significantly lower proportion of COVID-19 positive patients required mechanical ventilation (27.7%) than COVID-19 negative patients (57.4%), (p<0.001). The individual number of patients were not provided.

The average ICU length of stay for those with COVID-19 was 4 days [2.4-10.6]. For those in the vulnerable subgroup the average was 11 days [3.7-15.1]. The significance of the difference between the vulnerable and non-vulnerable group was not described. However, vulnerable non-COVID-19 patients had a 6 [2.8-12.2] day stay in ICU. The difference between vulnerable COVID-19 positive and negative groups demonstrated no significance (p=0.3).

The average total hospital stay for vulnerable patients with COVID-19 was 16.2 days [3.8-20.8]. This compared to vulnerable COVID-19 negative patient were in hospital for 12.3 days [5.2-19.8]. The difference in duration was not significant (p=0.94).

Other salient features: Breaking down conditions that comprises vulnerable children there was a significant increased number of children with cancer undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy who were admitted to hospital with symptoms and COVID-19 positive status compared to with symptoms but COVID-19 negative [7 VS 3 (p=0.01)]. There was no statistical differences between the COVID-19 positive and negative categories with on the national transplant, transplant medication, haematological cancer, respiratory and rare genetic, metabolic and autoimmune conditions lists or local severe respiratory conditions, rare diseases immunosuppressive therapies and other potential factors lists.

Barsoum, ZSN Comprehensive Clinical MedicinePediatric Asthma & Coronavirus (COVID-19)-Clinical Presentation in an Asthmatic Child—Case Report19 May 2020Northern IrelandEurope1Clinical - Comorbidities
Hains, DKrammer, FJAMAAsymptomatic Seroconversion of Immunoglobulins to SARS-CoV-2 in a Pediatric Dialysis Unit14 May 2020USANorth America3Clinical - Comorbidities
Boulad, FBouvier, NJAMA Oncol.COVID-19 in Children With Cancer in New York City13 May 2020USNorth America20Clinical - Comorbidities

This research letter reports the results of SARS-CoV-2 screening of patients and caregivers from one of the largest paediatric cancer centres in the US (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York) in a region with very high levels of community SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

From March 10th to April 12th 2020, inpatients and outpatients with either symptoms of or exposure to SARS-CoV-2 infection underwent RT-PCR testing. Asymptomatic patients were also tested prior to admission, deep sedation and or myelosuppressive chemotherapy, as were caregivers of children being admitted.

Overall 11% (20/178) of paediatric patients returned a positive SARS-CoV-2 result; including 29.3% in the symptomatic / exposed group and 2.5% in the asymptomatic group. In contrast 14.7% (10/76) of asymptomatic caregivers were positive. Despite close contact, 5 of the 10 children of caregivers with SARS-CoV-2 were uninfected.Only 1 of the 20 paediatric patients required hospitalisation for COVID-19 symptoms, without need for critical care.

This data provides reassurance that children with cancer may not be more vulnerable to complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to other children. The lack of specific clinical detail in this report limits the ability to draw more definitive conclusions regarding risk.

The lower rate of asymptomatic carriage in children relative to their caregivers provides further evidence that children, including paediatric cancer patients, may be less susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with adults.Clearly infection control strategies must consider the risk of nosocomial spread from infected caregivers as well as paediatric patients, particularly in areas with high levels of community transmission.

Marlais, MTullus KLancet Child Adolesc HealthThe severity of COVID-19 in children on immunosuppressive medication13 May 2020Multi-countryMulti-region18Clinical - Comorbidities
Bush, R.Upadhyay, K.Am J TransplantMild COVID-19 in a Pediatric Renal Transplant Recipient13 May 2020USANorth America1Clinical - Comorbidities
Zhao, YGao, GPediatr Infect Dis JFIRST CASE OF CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 IN CHILDHOOD LEUKEMIA IN CHINA12 May 2020ChinaAsia1Clinical - Comorbidities
Angelletti, AForno, RClin TransplantRisk of COVID-19 in young kidney transplant recipients. Results from a single-center observational study12 May 2020ItalyEurope64Clinical - Comorbidities

Giannina Gaslini Children’s Hospital, Italy undertook this prospective observational study of patients, who received a kidney transplant between January 2010 and March 2020, with stable graft function and were taking chronic immunosuppressant therapy. They were interviewed weekly between 24th February and 12th April 2020 for 7 weeks, using a 12-point structure questionnaire contained in the appendix, to evaluate the health status of themselves and their cohabitants. The data for adults and children were combined presenting a median age of 20 (2-30) years. The demographics were reported as a combined total; 93 were male.

2 patients, an adult (information not included) and 1 girl aged 13, had co-habitants who were positive for SARS-CoV-2. The 13-year-old had a kidney transplant aged 9 years old. At the time of study, she was taking a combination of steroid, calcineurin inhibitor (CNI and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and had investigations including a white cell count and haemoglobin within normal limits.

She tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 using a nasopharyngeal swab (test not declared) and did not develop any symptoms in the subsequent 21 days, declared as the incubation period. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were also negative at an undefined time point.

Clinical features: No patients developed any clinical symptoms.

Radiology: None discussed.

Bloods: None discussed for patients who were positive for SARS-CoV-2.

Treatments: None.

Outcomes: None.

Other salient features: The authors recommend avoiding altering the immunosuppressive therapy in young transplant recipients who do not have symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 including those who are exposed to positive close contact. Despite observing a relatively large population of kidney transplant recipients, a small number, 2 (1 child) were exposed to SARS-CoV-2, upon which has the conclusions are based.

Koczulla, RAKneidinger, NAmerican Journal of TransplantationSARS-CoV-2 infection in two patients following recent lung transplantation12 May 2020GermanyEurope1Clinical - Comorbidities
Blanchon, SRochat, IPediatr PulmonolCOVID-19: A Message of Hope From a Young Girl With Severe Cystic Fibrosis11 May 2020SwitzerlandEurope1Clinical - Comorbidities
Brenner, EUngaro RGastroenterologyCorticosteroids but not TNF Antagonists are Associated with Adverse COVID-19 Outcomes in Pateitns with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Results from an International Registry. 08 May 2020USANorth America30Clinical - Comorbidities

This is a pre-proof article and therefore has not yet undergone final editing and review.This is an article from America (Carolina) aiming to characterise the clinical course of COVID-19 on patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and evaluate the association between demographics, clinical characteristics and immunosuppressant treatments of COVID-19 outcomes.

The authors created a surveillance database and healthcare providers were encouraged to voluntarily report all cases of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-confirmed COVID-19 patients with IBD. A website was developed to enable international contributions. Contributors were asked to report cases a minimum of 7 days from symptom onset and after sufficient time had passed to observe disease course through to resolution of acute illness or death.

525 patients from 33 countries were reported. 7% had severe COVID-19, 31% were hospitalised, 3% of patients died. The median age of patient was 41 years (from 5 to 90). The majority of patients had Crohns Disease (59.4%) and IBD disease activity was classed as remission in 58.9% of cases. The most common class of treatment was TNF antagonist therapy (43.4% of patients).

63.5% of patients had no comorbidities other than IBD. Most patients who died had other co-morbidities. Only 3 paediatric patients (10% of paediatric cases) required hospitalization. After controlling for all other covariates use of systemic corticosteroids and ASA/sulfasalazine use were strongly associated with more serious outcomes after infection with COVID-19 but there was no significant association seen between TNF antagonist use and adverse outcomes.

The authors observed an age-standardized mortality ration of approximately 1.5-1.9 as compared to the general populations of China, Italy and the U.S.

They state it is reassuring that the most commonly used treatment- TNF antagonists- appears not to lead to increased adverse outcome for patients infected with COVID-19.

This study has strength in that it includes data from many countries although how comparable that data can be between countries is debatable. The authors did not look at dosing regimens or what was done in terms of continuing or postponing treatment which may well have varied from one country to another. There may also be some bias towards patients who were unwell enough to present to hospital, there may have been other patients who were infected but not unwell enough to require hospital treatment/testing for COVID-19 who would not have been included in this study population.

de Rojas, TPerez-Martinez, APediatric Blood and CancerCOVID-19 Infection in children and adolescents with cancer in Madrid08 May 2020Italy Europe15Clinical - Comorbidities
Andre, NGandemer, VPediatr Blood CancerCOVID-19 in pediatric oncology from French pediatric oncology and hematology centers: High risk of severe forms?08 May 2020FranceEurope33Clinical - Comorbidities
Morand, AFabre AArchives de PediatrieChild with liver transplant recovers from COVID-19 infection. A case report. 06 May 2020franceEurope1Clinical - Comorbidities

This a case report form France of a 2-and-a-half-year-old girl who recovered from COVID-19 infection, 5 months after a liver transplant; she had co-infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

The child had received a living donor transplant (father) as she had developed portal hypertension post Kasai portoentemrostoy performed at 53 days of age for biliary atresia.

She had been discharged home 20 days post procedure on tacrolimus immunosuppression therapy and had no immunization against EBV before transplantation.

On day 96 post transplant she was found to have primary EBV infection linked to the transplant- her father was EBV positive- but was asymptomatic of this.

The first developed rhinitis which developed into a fever, cough and tachypnoea. In the few days before this her mother had been hospitalized with pneumonia and found to be COVID-19 positive on nasopharyngeal swab. On day three of the illness the child was referred to hospital where she was found to be positive for COVID-19 on NPA.

On admission she was tachypnoeic with no other signs of respiratory distress, her CRP was low (3). A chest CT showed focal alveolar condensation of the ligula and a stable mediastinal enlargement. Her liver function tests had deteriorated (GGT and AST). An US of the liver showed aggravation of the transplanted biliary tract stenosis and an elevated EBV blood viral load. She was managed symptomatically, and she did not receive any COVID-19 specific treatment.

She recovered from COVID-19 infection despite the high level of immunosuppression caused by her tacrolimus treatment. NPA test samples became negative on day 11. The authors report they reduced the dose of tacrolimus but do not state at which point in the illness nor for how long. They do not state how long it took for her LFTs to return to previous levels nor if there were any consequences of the raised EBV viral load.

The authors suggest liver transplantation is not associated with COVID-19 symptom severity development even when there is high level immunosuppression on tacrolimus. Moreover COVID-19 and EBV co-infections do not seem to aggravate the clinical outcome.

It is difficult to draw conclusions based on one case study. Particularly as other studies have shown the severity of COVID-19 is increased when present with other co-morbidities. This particular patient, due to the nature of her original liver insult and the fact that she is a young patient, did not have other co-morbidities, this is often not the case for other patients who have required a liver transplantation.

Michelena, XMarsal, S.Med archivesIncidence of COVID-19 in a cohort of adult and paediatric patients with rheumatic diseases treated with targeted biologic and synthetic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs05 May 2020SpainEuropeClinical - Comorbidities
Sieni, EFavre, CBritish Journal of HaematologyFavourable outcome of Coronavirus‐19 in a 1‐year‐old girl with acute myeloid leukaemia and severe treatment‐induced immunosuppression05 May 2020ItalyEurope1Clinical - Comorbidities

This retrospective single case report discusses the progression and treatment of a child with high risk acute myeloid leukaemia having undertaken the third chemotherapy cycle of the induction phase following AIEOP LAM 2013 protocol.

13-month-old female patient attended routine clinic at Myers Hospital, Florence, Italy following completion of the chemotherapy. Routine investigations revealed a low white cell count, haemoglobin and platelet count which necessitated admission for transfusions. The need for admission was the initial reason for testing for SARS-CoV-2. RT-PCR was performed for nasal and pharyngeal swabs. Faecal PCR testing was also positive.

Clinical features: Fever starting on day 3 (the combination of fever and low WCC suggested neutropenic sepsis), vomiting and diarrhoea with negative stool culture.

Radiology: CXR on day 3 showed bilateral reticular markings. A repeat prior to discharge demonstrated “no significant modification from baseline”.

Bloods: Day 0 showed low WCC (80/mmc), haemoglobin (7.9g/dL) and platelet (5000/mmc) count. The elevated CRP was highest at day 5 (7.2mg/dL) and normalised by day 10 (<0.5mg/dL). Additional laboratory investigations included LDH which was highest by day 13 (401 IU/L) and ferratin maximally raised on day 9 (3000 mg/mL). Immunoglobulins were low throughout the illness. On day 3 the results were: IgG 258 mg/dL, IgA 18.7 mg/dL, IgM 7 mg/dL. IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, TNFα and cardiac enzymes were normal.

Blood microbiology was negative.

Additional laboratory investigations, including cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10 and TNFα) and cardiac enzymes, were normal; lactate dehydrogenase slightly increased (up to 401 IU/L at day 13), whereas ferritin values showed moderate elevation from day 9

Treatments: Treatment for neutropenic sepsis with piperacillin-tazobactam and fluconazole was commenced on day 3 due to fever. Hydroxychloroquine day 3-11. On day 4 lopinavir/ritonavir stopping day 12

Outcomes: Was treated on a hospital ward without supplemental oxygen until discharge.

Other features of interest: There was a undetectable viral plasma load by day 16, however nasal swab for SARS-CoV-2 remained positive beyond discharge at day 26. There is no data to suggest a negative test to publication date.

It is unclear if the low WCC, anaemia and thrombocytopenia requiring transfusion was due to the chemotherapy, underlying acute myeloid leukaemia or COVID-19 infection, however, on discharge these values had normalised and were maintained by day 26.

Summary: This case describes a high-risk young patient with acute myeloid leukaemia undergoing chemotherapy presenting with febrile neutropenia. Whilst the symptoms were initially vague, subsequent investigations suggested the underlying cause was SARS-CoV-2. Early anti-viral treatments were commenced. Given the patient’s immunosuppression the authors discuss fears regarding seroconversion, viral dissemination and inflammatory responses which did not occur.

Melgosa, MPerez-Beltran, VPed NephrolSARS-CoV-2 infection in Spanish children with chronic kidney pathologies01 May 2020Spain Europe16Clinical - Comorbidities
Odièvre, MCorvol, HAm J HematologyDramatic improvement after Tocilizumab of a severe COVID-19 in a child with sickle cell disease and acute chest syndrome01 May 2020FranceEurope1Clinical - Comorbidities

The authors of this case study are based at two hospitals in Paris; in this correspondence they describe the treatment of a 16 year old girl with homozygous sickle cell disease (SCD) admitted to ICU with acute chest syndrome (ACS) and pulmonary emboli complicating COVID-19 pneumonia, in particular the use of Tocilizumab, a humanised anti-IL-6 monoclonal antibody (usual indications include use as immunosuppressant therapy in rheumatoid arthritis and giant cell arteritis in adults and juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children).

Course of SCD prior to admission: The patient had a history of recurrent vaso-occlusive crises and abnormal transcranial dopplers between the ages of 5 and 11 years old, necessitating treatment with exchange transfusions. At 11 years of age she was commenced on daily hydroxyurea with resolution of vaso-occlusive events. She had no history of ACS or pulmonary hypertension; respiratory function and chest radiography were previously normal.

Presentation with COVID-19-19: She presented with isolated fever, with nasophyaryngeal swabs subsequently confirmed as RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 positive. 7 days later she developed acute chest pain associated with respiratory distress (SpO2 85%).

Radiology: CT pulmonary angiogram (CTPA) showed bilateral pulmonary emboli and bilateral consolidation with right-sided halo sign.

Treatment in ICU: Included non-invasive ventilation, anticoagulation and red cell exchange transfusion followed by simple transfusion (lowest Hb 64 g/L). Based on recent experience in adult SCD patients with COVID-19 disease she also received a single infusion of Tocilizumab (8 mg/kg). The authors report rapid clinical improvement after Tocilizumab with repeat CTPA 5 days later showing complete resolution of pulmonary emboli and consolidation on the right and decrease on the left. She was discharged from hospital 11 days after admission to continue oral anticoagulation for 6 weeks.

Conclusions: Inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and TNF- are elevated in COVID-19. COVID-19 pneumonia can cause ACS in SCD patients; there have been several recent reports of successful treatment using Tocilizumab.

Inci Yildirim, ATurkmen Karaagac, AIndian PediatricsCOVID-19 in a Young Girl with Restrictive Cardiomyopathy and Chronic Lung Disease30 Apr 2020TurkeyWestern Asia, Southeastern Europe1Clinical - Comorbidities
Russell M.Reardon LThe Journal of Heart and Lung TransplantationCOVID-19 in a paediatric heart transplant recipient: Emergence of donor-specific antibodies 29 Apr 2020UKEurope1Clinical - Comorbidities

This is a case report of a 3 year old child who had received a heart transplant at 11 months of age for congenital dilated cardiomyopathy.

Her post-transplant course had been unremarkable except for persistent Ebstein Barr Virus (EBV) viremia. She was on tacrolimus monotherapy.

Her initial symptoms were productive cough with rhinorrhea and nasal congestion, she was not tested for COVID-19 at this point as she had no Centres for Disease Control risk factors for infection and testing was not widely available.

A week later a follow-up telehealth visit was performed and there was improvement in symptoms.Surveillance blood tests demonstrated the following de novo Class II donor specific antibodies: DQ4, DR8 and DQA1*04.

One week later the patient was scheduled for routine admission for intravenous immunoglobulin administration, because of the history of cough had a nasal swab sent for reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction testing for COVID-19. Other than an intermittent wet cough she was well, and her observations were within normal limits. She received the immunoglobulin infusion overnight. The next morning the nasal swab was reported as positive for COVID-19 infection.

The patient remained well without symptoms of respiratory distress. Repeat COVID-19 nasal polymerase chain reaction testing was planned for 2 weeks with IVIG administration repeated every month for 2 more months. The authors report that although the patient tolerated IVIG administration with concurrent COVID-19 infection without any notable reaction they would be hesitant to attempt more aggressive forms of desensitisation with active infection until more clinical knowledge of COVID-19 is available.

Climent, F. J.Pérez-Martínez, ARev Esp Cardiol (Engl Ed). Fatal outcome of COVID-19 disease in a 5-month infant with comorbidities27 Apr 2020SpainEurope12Clinical - Comorbidities
Schwierzeck, VKampmeier, SClin Infect DisFirst reported nosocomial outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in a pediatric dialysis unit27 Apr 2020GermanyEurope13Clinical - Comorbidities

This paper presents the results of an outbreak investigation following a member of staff on a paediatric dialysis unit developing confirmed COVID-19. Detailed contact tracing was carried out and found that 48 cases in total were involved - this included 13 patients, 28 healthcare workers and seven 'accompanying persons'. Of note, of the 3 traced who children tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, only one had symptoms; given these children's high-risk status, their asymptomatic presentations are noteable. The paper discusses hygiene measures put in place to avoid further spread.

Chen, YHuang, KDiabetes CareClinical Characteristics and Outcomes of Patients With Diabetes and COVID-19 in Association With Glucose-Lowering Medication24 Apr 2020ChinaAsia3Clinical - Comorbidities
Poli, PBadolato, RJ. Cyst FibrosAsymptomatic case of COVID-19 in an infant with cystic fibrosis14 Apr 2020ItalyEurope1Clinical - Comorbidities

This is the first case report of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in a child with cystic fibrosis. The 1 month-old, from Italy, was diagnosed with CF on newborn screening. SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed on nasopharyngeal swab PCR as part of contact tracing following exposure to COVID-19 through his grandfather.

The infant remained asymptomatic throughout follow up and did not require hospital admission.This is one of a limited number of reports of SARS-CoV-2 infection in people with CF. A better understanding of the course of illness in this group will likely emerge with data from ongoing collaborative studies.

Hrusak, OSchrappe, MEur J CancerFlash survey on SARS-CoV-2 infections in pediatric patients on anti-cancer treatment07 Apr 2020International (first author from Czechia)International9Clinical - Comorbidities

This is the report of a data from an international survey of paediatric haematology and oncology clinicians to assess the frequency and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection amongst children with cancer. The survey, conducted from 16th-17th March 2020, had over 35 respondents from 25 countries. Of an estimated 10,000 patients at risk and over 200 tested, 9 children were positive for SARS-CoV-2. Clinical details are provided for 8 cases, 6 of whom had solid tumours and 2 with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. 7 had mild or asymptomatic disease, 1 patient required low flow oxygen. Fever was the presenting symptom in 6 patients and one patient also had diarrhoea. All 7 patients with outcome data available made a full recovery.

The interpretation of these data is clearly limited by the study design as well as the relatively early stage of the pandemic during which the survey was conducted. Notwithstanding these limitations, the absence of severe COVID-19 cases in this report provides some early reassurance. More detailed clinical studies are needed to draw firm conclusions about the risk of severe disease in children receiving chemotherapy.

Balduzzi, ABiondi, ALancet pre-print serverLessons after the early management of the COVID-19 outbreak in a pediatric transplant and hemato-oncology center embedded within a COVID-19 dedicated hospital in Lombardia, Italy02 Apr 2020ItalyEurope5Clinical - Comorbidities

This report from a paediatric haematology unit in Lombardia, Italy, includes the Italian experience of COVID-19 in children with malignancy so far. At their particular unit, they have had no children with malignancy test positive for COVID-19 (they admit this is dependent on testing criteria, requiring hospitalisation at their institute). They are aware of 5 cases of paediatric cancer patients who have had COVID-19 and have all suffered a mild course, with 3 managed at home and 2 in hospital.

This small case series provides further reassurance for at risk paediatric populations.

Lagana, SMLefkowitch, JHArchives of Pathology & Laboratory MedicineCOVID-19 associated hepatitis complicating recent living donor liver transplantation02 Apr 2020USANorth America1Clinical - Comorbidities

This retrospective single case report examines the histopathological features of liver associated COVID-19 in a child admitted to Columbia University Medical Centre, USA. The female child, 6 months old, was admitted for a liver transplant for treatment of biliary atresia. COVID-19 was diagnosed in the donor on post-operative day 2 and confirmed in the patient day 4 post-operatively. The type of test used was not described.

Clinical features: Increased work of breathing requiring CPAP, fever and diarrhoea were developed on post-operative day 4.

Radiology: CXR on post-operative day 4 was described as “no significant changes compared to prior exam with only patchy areas of atelectasis in irregularly aerated lungs”. CXR on day 6 demonstrated “patchy lung opacities bilaterally, mildly increased in the right upper lobe and left lung base”. Bloods: Deranged LFTs exacerbated from baseline on post-operative day 1: AST (maximum 908U/L from 163U/L), ALT (maximum 980U/L from 215U/L), GGT (maximum 473U/L from 174U/L), ALP (maximum 578U/L from 388U/L).

Treatments: Treated with hydroxychloroquine from day 4 post-operative. She required CPAP for an undefined time period. Undefined immunosuppressant treatment was provided for acute transplant rejection, however liver enzymes worsened when commenced.

Outcomes: Remains on a hospital ward without supplemental oxygen.

A liver biopsy was performed on post-operative day 7 demonstrating portal tract expansion through a mixed inflammatory infiltrate which consisted of lymphocytes, rare plasma cells, and interspersed eosinophils, lymphocytic cholangitis, reactive changes in the interlobular bile ducts and mild portal venulitis. These were interpreted as acute cellular rejection.

Other findings of moderate acute hepatitis including an “azonal pattern of clusters of apoptotic hepatocytes” and singly dispersed apoptotic hepatocytes. Other features of interest include large fragments of cytoplasmic debris described as “crumbling” hepatocytes, few mitotic figures, regions of Kupffer cell prominence with sinusoidal and central vein endotheliitis. The authors commented that the extent of hepatocyte apoptosis and large clusters were unusual and not a usual feature of acute cellular rejection (ACR). Central endotheliitis may also be a feature of COVID-19 hepatitis, with the presence of more Kupffer cells and less plasma cells than ACR.

Summary: COVID-19 hepatitis likely presents as a moderate acute hepatitis with prominent clusters of “crumbling” apoptotic hepatocytes. Other features may be lymphohistiocytic inflammation of sinusoidal and central vein endothelium, with the presence of more Kupffer and less plasma cells when compared to ACR.

Turner, DRussel, RJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and NutritionCOVID-19 and paediatric inflammatory bowel diseases31 Mar 2020InternationalInternational8Clinical - Comorbidities

This article outlines the experience from Asia and Europe so far of children with inflammatory bowel disease given the COVID-19 pandemic. This is of particular interest because many of these children receive immunosuppression as part of their treatment, and so could be considered high risk for complications of the disease.

It appears to have been routine practice to suspend treatment for IBD during the outbreak of COVID-19, which resulted in a large number of relapses. No children with IBD contracted COVID-19 in China in the period covered by the survey.

In South Korea treatment for IBD was not suspended. They also have had no cases of COVID-19 in children with IBD.

In the PORTO IBD group of ESPGHAN (covering Europe, some centres in Canada and Israel) treatment was not suspended in 31/32 centres. 7 children with IBD, who were on immunosuppression, had COVID-19. They all suffered a mild illness with no flare of their IBD. There is an additional child case from an international IBD database identified who also experiences mild symptoms (no hospitalisation required).

This survey provides further reassurance that treatment with immunosuppression does not appear to significantly increase the risk of severe disease from COVID-19 in children.

D'Antiga, LLiver transplantationCoronaviruses and immunosuppressed patients: the facts during the third epidemic20 Mar 2020ItalyEurope3Clinical - Comorbidities

This letter is from a liver transplant centre in Lombardy, Italy, reporting their experience of patients (including children) with immunosuppression and COVID-19. They have had 3 children post liver transplant test positive for SARS-CoV-2, and none have developed clinical pulmonary disease. They believe due to the widespread nature of infection that many other of their patients may also be infected, but not developed clinically apparent disease.

This provides the first official reports of vulnerable paediatric populations with COVID-19, which so far does not appear to be any more severe than the rest of the population in that age bracket. Further data is awaited.

Weisberg, SFarber, DNat ImmunolDistinct antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in children and adults across the COVID-19 clinical spectrum.5 Nov 2020USANorth America47Clinical - PIMS-TS

This study, published online on 5th November 2020, investigates the SARS-CoV-2 antibody response and its protective capacity in 32 adult and 47 paediatric patients seen at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center hospital and the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City from March to June 2020. Children with SARS-CoV-2 infection are often asymptomatic and rarely have severe respiratory symptoms, but may very rarely present with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), typically 2-4 weeks after infection with SARS-CoV-2. Adults are more likely to experience respiratory symptoms of varying severity, which can progress to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with high mortality (particularly in older adults and those with comorbidities such as diabetes). The authors aimed to investigate the immune response after SARS-Co-2 infection in adults and children with a range of clinical presentations, by analysing antibodies specific for the major SARS-CoV-2 antigens, including the S protein (which binds the cellular receptor for viral entry) and the N protein (necessary for viral replication). They also analysed the neutralising activity of these antibodies in blocking viral infection, which correlates with their protective capacity (only a small fraction of antibodies raised against viral antigens will have neutralising activity).

Study population: There were 4 patient cohorts in the study (2 adult and 2 paediatric, one each of mild and severe disease in each age group) totalling 79 individuals, defined as having been SARS-CoV-2-infected based on symptoms, positive PCR and/or serology:

1. 19/79 (24%) adult convalescent plasma donors (CPDs): recovered from mild COVID-19 respiratory disease without hospitalisation and recruited from the community via web tool as part of convalescent plasma trial (telephone screening to determine eligibility as plasma donors), median age 45 yrs (range 28-69), 10/19 (53%) male, ethnicity: 53% white, 32% Asian, 11% Pacific Islander, 5% Hispanic/Latin American, 5% other/unknown. Median time from onset of symptoms consistent with COVID-19 to sampling during outpatient donation of blood: 24 days (IQR 19-37).

2. 13/79 (16%) adults hospitalised with severe COVID-19 ARDS (COVID-ARDS): median age 62 yrs (range 19-84), male 11/13 (85%), ethnicity: 31% Hispanic/Latin American, 23% Black/African American, 15% white, 38% other/unknown. Co-morbidities: diabetes 4/13 (31%), hypertension 4/13 (31%), current/former smoker 3/13 (23%), COPD 2/13 (15%), chronic neurological disease/dementia 1/13 (8%). Median time from onset of respiratory/COVID-19 symptoms to sampling (after diagnosis of ARDS requiring intubation and admission to ICU): 16 days (IQR 14-21). 30-day in-hospital mortality 6/13 (46%), 4 patients remained hospitalised.

3. 16/79 (20%) children hospitalised with MIS-C (paediatric MIS-C): median age 11 yrs (range 4-17), male 7/16 (44%), ethnicity: 44% Black/African American, 44% white, 25% Hispanic/Latin American, 6% other/unknown. Asthma 4/16 (25%) (no other co-morbidities). Median time after onset of symptoms of MIS-C to sampling on admission to PICU: 6 days (IQR 4-7). 30-day in-hospital mortality 0%, 1/16 (6%) developed respiratory failure/ARDS.

4. 31/79 (39%) children infected with SARS-CoV-2 who didn’t develop MIS-C (paediatric non-MIS-C): median age 11 yrs (range 3-18), male 17/31 (55%), ethnicity: 48% white, 42% Hispanic/Latin American, 13% Black/Latin American, 23% other/unknown. Co-morbidities: asthma 1/31 (3%), chronic kidney disease 1, hypertension 1. Clinical presentation: surgical 9/31 (29%), COVID-19 symptoms 7/31 (23%), psychiatric 4/31 (13%), trauma 3/31 (10%), fever (non-COVID) 2/31 (6%), other 6/31 (19%). Asymptomatic 15/31 (48%). Median time from symptom onset or from confirmed COVID-19 exposure (reportable data for 16 individuals) to sampling during clinical care (including routine screening for admission and procedures): 29 days (IQR 17-44). 30-day in-hospital mortality 0%, 1/31 (3%) developed respiratory failure/ARDS. These samples were obtained from the Columbia University Biobank after screening for appropriate age and exclusion of confounders such as immune deficiency, malignancy and genetic abnormality.

SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies for each cohort: Blood samples were collected from all 4 cohorts during the same 60 day time window. Levels of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 S (spike) and N (nucleocapsid) proteins were measured in patient plasma samples (and in a negative control pre-pandemic plasma) using serial dilutions in an indirect ELISA assay to detect anti-S IgG, anti-S IgM, anti-S IgA and anti-N IgG. Detailed results and graphs are reported in the article, together with statistical comparisons between cohorts. Anti-S antibodies were present as IgM (primary response), IgG (prominent in serum) and IgA (prominent in secretions) classes in adult CPDs and COVID-ARDS, with significantly higher concentration in COVID-ARDS patients for all classes. By contrast, anti-S antibody titres and isotype predominance in both paediatric cohorts (MISC-C and non-MIS-C) were similar to each other and to the adult CPDs, showing predominant anti-S IgG, low titres of anti-S IgM (similar to the negative control) and variable titres of anti-S IgA antibodies. The specificity of anti-S IgG for SARS-CoV-2 S protein compared to other coronavirus strains was assessed using a cell-based ELISA: plasma IgG from subject samples (but not pre-pandemic control plasma) bound SARS-CoV-2 protein and the common circulating D614G S protein variant, but did not significantly bind S protein from SARS-CoV-1 or MERS coronaviruses. Anti-N IgG titres were significantly lower in both paediatric cohorts compared to the two adult cohorts. The low titres of anti-N IgG in children were similar in MIS-C and non-MIS-C cohorts. The higher titres of anti-N IgG in adults were similar in CPDs and COVID-ARDS cohorts, suggesting that production of anti-N antibody is age- but not symptom-dependent.

Effect of age on antibodies in each cohort: No significant correlation between age and anti-S IgG in adults or paediatric MIS-C cohort; modest but significant negative correlation between age and anti-S IgG in paediatric non-MIS-C cohort (younger children having higher anti-S titres than teens). Significant correlation between age and anti-N IgG in adult CPDs (younger adults having lower anti-N titres than older adults). Both paediatric cohorts had low anti-N titres across all ages.

Effect of time post-symptom onset on antibodies in each cohort: Significant correlation between anti-S IgG titres and increased time post-symptom onset for both paediatric cohorts and the adult COVID-ARDS cohort, suggesting an evolving response over time. No correlation between anti-S IgM and time post-symptom onset in any cohort.

Neutralising activity of antibodies in each cohort: A pseudovirus assay was used to measure neutralising activity. Both paediatric cohorts exhibited significantly lower neutralising activity than the two adults cohorts, with no difference between MIS-C and non-MIS-C cohorts. Plasma from adult COVID-ARDS patients showed the highest neutralising activity. No correlation between age and neutralising activity in either adult cohort. Significant decline of neutralising activity with age in the paediatric non-MIS-C cohort, similar to the decrease in anti-S IgG observed during the teenage years. Neutralising activity within each cohort did not correlate with time post-symptom onset except in the adult COVID-ARDS cohort. 10/16 (62.5%) MIS-C patients maintained the same anti-S IgG titres and neutralising activity when followed up 2-4 weeks post hospital discharge based on paired analysis, suggesting that lower levels of functional antibody responses in paediatric SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to adults is age-associated and not related to infection course.

Additional analysis to better define how antibody responses relate to age and disease severity: Multivariable linear regression analysis was performed to control for the effects of demographic and clinical covariates. Consistent with the grouped analysis, analysis of all paediatric and adult data showed that the paediatric age group was a significant predictor of lower SARS-CoV-2 neutralising activity, anti-S IgM and anti-N IgG, independent of time post-symptom onset, clinical syndrome or sex. ARDS was a significant independent predictor of higher neutralising activity, anti-S IgG and anti-S IgM.

Observations: Self-selection bias may apply to the CPDs cohort, since they volunteered via the internet to be plasma donors. Timing of onset of symptoms was subjective and the paediatric non-MIS-C cohort included 48% asymptomatic patients whose symptom onset to sampling time interval was calculated based on days since confirmed COVID-19 exposure (with reportable data for only half the cohort). The paediatric MIS-C cohort symptom onset to sampling time interval is based on onset of MIS-C symptoms, not potential initial COVID-19 symptoms or COVID-19 exposure. Samples from COVID-ARDS and MIS-C patients were obtained within 24-36 hours of being admitted to ICU/PICU or intubated for respiratory failure; this was not always before the initiation of therapeutic interventions. Treatments received by the 13 COVID-ARDS patients included: convalescent plasma 4/13 (31%) (1/13 sampled post-treatment), hydrocortisone 6/13 (46%) (1/13 sampled post-treatment), methylprednisolone 9/13 (69%) (8/13 sampled post-treatment), monoclonal antibodies 7/13 (54%) (6/13 sampled post-treatment), remdesevir 6/13 (40%) (2/13 sampled post-treatment). 16 MIS-C patients: hydrocortisone 3/16 (19%) (3/13 sampled post-treatment), intravenous immunoglobulin 14/16 (88%) (6/16 sampled post-treatment), methylprednisolone 15/16 (94%) (10/16 sampled post-treatment), monoclonal antibodies 3/16 (1/16 sampled post-treatment), remdesevir 1/16 (1/16 sampled post-treatment). 31 non-MISC-C patients: intravenous immunoglobulin 2/31 (6%) (both sampled before treatment), methylprednisolone 1/31 (3%) (1/31 sampled post-treatment), remdesevir 1/31 (3%) (1/31 sampled post-treatment).

Conclusions: This study demonstrates quantitative and qualitative differences between children and adults in the anti-SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody response in both mild and severe disease. The anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody response in children was found to be predominantly anti-S IgG antibodies, with low neutralising activity compared to adults. Children with and without MIS-C had similar antibody profiles (suggesting that the adaptive immune response is not in itself associated with MIS-C pathogenesis), in contrast to the adult cohorts, where those with the most severe disease had higher abundance, breadth and neutralising activity of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies compared to adults who recovered from mild disease. Anti-N antibody titres were low in children compared to adults, which is consistent with a milder course of infection in children (release of N proteins requires lysis of virally infected cells). This effect was also seen in the adult CPDs cohort, where anti-N antibodies increased with age, consistent with an increase in severe and prolonged disease in older adults. Testing platforms using anti-N IgG to identify previous infection may have decreased sensitivity in children, since children were shown to predominantly generate IgG antibodies specific for the S protein, but not the N protein. Age was the major factor distinguishing antibody profiles (independent of sex, disease severity and time post-symptom onset). The authors note the opportunity to study primary immune responses across all ages afforded by the sudden and widespread emergence of SARS-CoV-2 as a new pathogen; the majority of primary exposures to common viral respiratory pathogens occur in infancy and childhood, so that virus-specific immune memory is established by adulthood, and therefore differences between primary immune responses in children and adults are currently unknown. The authors postulate that the reduced functional adaptive antibody response in children compared to adults may be due to efficient immune-mediated viral clearance resulting in fewer respiratory symptoms and less severe disease. Children may have more naïve T cells available to respond to new pathogens or more recently acquired T cell memory to related coronaviruses due to more recent and frequent respiratory illnesses. Defining the nature of the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 infection as a function of age and disease severity will improve age-targeted screening and protection in the form of therapeutics and vaccines.

García-Salido, AGonzález Cortés, RCrit Care 24(1): 666Severe manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 in children and adolescents: from COVID-19 pneumonia to multisystem inflammatory syndrome: a multicentre study in pediatric intensive care units in Spain26 Nov 2020SpainEurope74Clinical - PIMS-TS

Multicentre registry-based study of 74 children admitted to 47 PICUs in Spain with SARS-CoV-2-related disease, from 01/03-15/06/20, comparing cases with a diagnosis of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) with non-MIS-C cases. MIS-C cases were more likely to be older, to not to have any prior medical condition, to present with fever, fatigue, GI symptoms and to develop cardiac dysfunction and shock, and to need vasoactive drugs, antibiotics and immunomodulatory drugs than were non-MIS-C cases. They had lower lymphocyte counts and LDH levels but higher neutrophil counts and pro-calcitonin and CRP levels. They were less likely to present with cough, respiratory distress or rhinorrhoea, to need non-invasive or mechanical ventilation, or blood product support. All 3 deaths were in non-MIS-c cases with significant underlying medical conditions. Whereas non-MIS-C cases were admitted reasonably regularly throughout the 1st pandemic wave, MIS-C admissions showed a delayed peak compared to national case numbers. MIS-C cases were more likely to have negative PCR for SARS-CoV-2 than non-MIS-C cases, though many had other immunological evidence of infection. The authors point out that the findings of this study are only applicable to PICU populations and do not reflect the full spectrum of MIS-C disease, since milder cases will not have been admitted to a PICU.

Anderson, EHensley, SJPIDSSARS-CoV-2 antibody responses in children with MIS-C and mild and severe COVID-1902 Dec 2020USANorth America29Clinical - PIMS-TS
Lucio Verdoni, MD Lorenzo D'Antiga, MDThe LancetAn outbreak of severe Kawasaki-like disease at the Italian epicentre of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic: an observational cohort study 13th May 2020ItalyEurope10Clinical - PIMS-TS

This is the second published manuscript on the increase in a Kawaski-like illness (now termed PIMS-TS) during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

This is a retrospective study of children with a diagnosis of Kawasaki Disease (KD) in the Bergamo province of Italy, an area which was significantly affected by SARS-CoV-2. Overall, 10 children were diagnosed with KD during the pandemic (Feb 18 to April 20,2020), compared with 19 children prior to the pandemic (Jan 1 2015 to Feb 17 2020). Interestingly, 8 of 10 children were positive for SARS-CoV-2 IgG, IgM or both.

The two groups of children were compared, and those with KD during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic were found to be older, have a higher rate of KD and were more likely to present with KD shock syndrome or Macrophage Activation Syndrome. Overall, there was a 30 fold increased incidence of a KD-like illness during the pandemic.

Prieto, LMBlazquez, DClin Microbiol Infect Cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging in children with pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 and heart dysfunction10 Oct 2020SpainEurope5Clinical - PIMS-TS

The authors (from the Department of Pediatrics, Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Madrid) describe their recent experience with five patients affected by PIMS-TS from April 28 to May 11, 2020. The exact mechanisms of how SARS-CoV-2 causes this transient myocardial dysfunction in children with PIMS-TS are not well understood. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI) has become the diagnostic tool of choice for patients with evidence for acute non-ischemic myocardial injury, including myocarditis in the last decade. CMRI allows for targeting several features of myocardial injury: inflammatory hyperemia and edema, necrosis/scar, contractile dysfunction and pericardial effusion. CMRI is also a predictor of functional and clinical recovery. They state CMRI allows for a robust assessment of the extent of injury and dysfunction in clinically acute scenarios of myocardial injury but the diagnostic value of echocardiography for myocardial injury is limited by the fact that many patients with less severe disease have a normal echocardiogram and the highly variable echocardiographic findings lack specificity.

Presenting features and investigations

All were previously healthy children, with a median age of 7 years old of varying racial backgrounds, [interquartile range (IQR), 5-12 years]. They presented at admission with fever, tachycardia and hypotension. The median white cell count was 9100 cells/mm3 and the median lymphocyte count was 1700 cells/mm3. Other ancillary tests revealed elevated cardiac biomarkers [median troponin T was 66.6 ng/l (IQR: 3.2-75.2) and NT-proBNP of 14,407 pg/ml (IQR: 3988–16,150)], and markedly increased inflammatory biomarkers like C-reactive protein and procalcitonin [10.2 mg/dl (IQR: 9.4-26.9) and 10.5 ng/ml (IQR: 3.4-14.8), respectively]. The median ferritin was 421 μg/l (IQR: 369-639) and the median interleukin 6 was 63.5 pg/ml (IQR: 27.2-216.2). The echocardiography revealed mild to moderate heart dysfunction in all of the patients. All of them had a positive serology against SARS-CoV-2 (Ig anti receptor-binding domain) and met criteria for PIMS-TS according to UK, WHO and CDC definitions. Z-score for coronary artery diameters were also standardly assessed.


Patients received IVIG, and in three cases steroids were added because of persistent fever 48 hours after IVIG administration.


They were all discharged home with total recovery of the heart function.

A cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI) was performed after discharge [median day after admission: +16, (range 9-17)]. The protocol performed included steady-state free precession cine 2D sequences (short axis, 4, 3 and 2 Chamber views); study of edema (Inversion Recovery sequence in short axis), hyperemia and capillary leak (early gadolinium enhancement) and myocyte necrosis and fibrosis (late gadolinium enhancement). Both ventricles had normal function and no edema or abnormalities in early and late gadolinium enhancement were observed in any cases.


CMRI did not show any myocardial damage in this small series of patients with PIMS-TS. CMRI is considered a highly sensitive technique to evaluate myocardial injury. Although the number of patients in this series was small, the authors felt that heart dysfunction did not seem secondary to myocardial viral injury in these children. They put forward an alternative hypothesis that the exaggerated inflammatory response observed in these children with PIMS-TS could be the cause of the heart dysfunction. The rapid recovery of the heart function after immunomodulatory treatment and the absence of myocardial abnormalities in CMRI support this hypothesis. They conclude that further studies to further elucidate the cause of myocardial dysfunction in children with multisystem inflammatory syndrome related to COVID-19 are warranted.

Minocha, PSingh, RClinical PediatricsCardiac Findings in Pediatric Patients With Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children Associated With COVID-1925 Sep 2020USANorth America33Clinical - PIMS-TS

Methods: The authors retrospectively reviewed the clinical course and cardiac testing results in paediatric patients hospitalized with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) at 2 large hospital systems in the New York City metropolitan area over 3 months between March 1st and June 8th 2020. A standardized pathway was used to evaluate suspected cases of MIS-C and patients with acute respiratory COVID-19 infection were excluded.

Data on patient demographics, clinical course, testing results, treatment, and outcomes was collected. Patients were assessed for prior COVID-19 exposures and COVID-19 infections. All patients were tested with SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal (RT-PCR) on admission. After introduction of SARS-CoV-2 serological testing on May 12, 2020, all patients with MIS-C received SARS-CoV-2 IgG (immunoglobulin G) antibody testing on admission.

For this study, MIS-C patients with positive cardiac testing were defined as having an abnormality of one or more of the following on admission: electrocardiogram (ECG), serum troponin, brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), and/or echocardiogram (echo). Left ventricular (LV) systolic function was calculated by 5/6 area length method and LV dysfunction was defined as a LV ejection fraction (LVEF) <55%.LV diastolic function was assessed by E/A wave ratios of mitral valve inflow Doppler interrogation, tissue Doppler imaging, and/or strain analysis. The classification of coronary artery dilation, aneurysm size, and Kawasaki disease were based on the 2017 American Heart Association statement. Appropriate ethical approval of the study was gained.

Results: 33 patients (median age 2.8 years) were in the study cohort There was a male predominance (58%) with Hispanics constituting the largest ethnic group (36%). Comorbidities included obesity (21%) and asthma (15%). Median duration of symptoms prior to admission was 5 days (IQR: 3-6 days). The most common symptoms were fevers (100%), rash (58%), conjunctivitis (36%), and diarrhea (36%). Three (9%) patients met the criteria for Kawasaki disease, while 10 (30%) patients met the criteria for atypical Kawasaki disease. SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR testing was positive in 11 (33%) patients. Of the 23 patients who underwent SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody testing, 14 (61%) were IgG positive. Inflammatory markers on admission were elevated with a median C-reactive protein (CRP) of 85 mg/L (IQR: 33-196 mg/L), median D-dimer of 649 ng/mL (IQR: 362-1093 ng/mL), and median ferritin of 206 ng/mL (IQR: 105-633 ng/mL)

24 (73%) had at least one abnormality in cardiac testing: abnormal electrocardiogram (48%), elevated brain natriuretic peptide (43%), abnormal echocardiogram (30%), and/or elevated troponin (21%).

The most common ECG changes seen were T wave (24%) and ST segment abnormalities (18%). Prolonged QTc was seen in 3 (9%) patients.

All 4 patients with LV dysfunction had normal systolic function on follow-up echos (LVEF = 66%, IQR = 64% to 69%). The median time to documented normalization of LV function was 2 days (IQR = 1.5-8.5 days). Mitral valve insufficiency and dilation of the LMCA all normalized on follow-up echos within 2 weeks of hospitalization. ST segment and T-wave abnormalities resolved on follow-up ECGs.

On univariate testing, BNP >100 pg/mL (P = .012) and CRP >50 mg/L (P = .023) were associated with an abnormal echo. There was no statistically significant association between D-dimer (P = .26), ferritin (P = .45), troponin (P = .20), or EKG findings (P = 1.0) with an abnormal echo.

Treatment: Eleven (33%) patients required ICU-level care. Most patients were treated with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG; 72%) and glucocorticoids (55%). Median hospital length of stay was 4 days (IQR: 3-6 days). All patients have been discharged except for one critically ill patient with a history of persistent fevers despite IVIG, glucocorticoids, and Anakinra (interleukin-1 receptor antagonist). Patients were sent home on low-dose aspirin (3-5 mg/kg/day) that was stopped after a normal echo at 6 weeks post-MIS-C diagnosis. Electrocardiogram and echocardiogram abnormalities all resolved by the 2-week outpatient follow-up cardiology visit.

Limitations of study: As a rare disease, the numbers of patients in this study is relatively small. This was a retrospective review and there was no standardization of care provided. The demographics both younger age and Hispanic preponderance may have affected the results. With its broad case definition, there may have been misclassification of patients with MIS-C who may have had these other diagnoses. Not all patients received SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing in this study due to the novel nature of this disease during our study period.

Comment: The authors conclude that there is a spectrum of cardiac disease in MIS-C and that not all patients are as severely affected as suggested previously. Obesity and Asthma were comorbidities in a significant proportion of patients. While 73% of pediatric patients with MIS-C had evidence of abnormal cardiac testing on hospital admission in the study, all cardiac testing was normal by outpatient hospital discharge follow-up. They also state that cardiac screening tests should be performed in all patients diagnosed with MIS-C given the high rate of abnormal cardiac findings in their study cohort.

Pang, JBreuer, JPediatricsSARS-CoV-2 Polymorphisms and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)01 Sep 2020United Kingdom Europe13Clinical - PIMS-TS
Godfred-Cato, SBelay, EMorb Mortal Wkly Rep COVID-19–Associated Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children — United States, March–July 202007 Aug 2020United StatesNorth America570Clinical - PIMS-TS

On May 14th 2020, the CDC (Centre of Disease Dontrol) In the United states issued an alert on Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, and asked clinicians to report any suspected cases to local and state health departments.

As of 29 July 2020, a total of 570 MIS-C patients with onset dates from March 2 to July 18, 2020, had been reported from 40 state health departments, the District of Columbia, and New York City. The median patient age was 8 years (range = 2 weeks–20 years); 55.4% were male, 40.5% were Hispanic or Latino (Hispanic), 33.1% were non-Hispanic black (black), and 13.2% non-Hispanic white (white). Obesity was the most commonly reported underlying medical condition, occurring in 30.5% of Hispanic, 27.5% of black, and 6.6% of white MIS-C patients. 364 (63.9%) of patients needed ICU care, and 10 children (1.8%) died.

Latent class analysis (LCA), a statistical modelling technique that can divide cases into groups by underlying similarities, was used to identify and describe differing manifestations in patients who met the MIS-C case definition. Indicator variables used in the analysis were presence or absence of SARS-CoV-2–positive test results by PCR or serology, shock, pneumonia, and involvement of organ systems.

This analysis divided the cohort of patients into three groups.

Class 1: 203 (35.6%) patients. Median age 9 years. These patients had the highest number of involved organ systems. Of this group, 99 (48.8%) had involvement of six or more organ systems; most commonly cardiovascular (100.0%) and gastrointestinal (97.5%). Compared with other Classes they had significantly more shock/abdominal pain/myocarditis/lymphopenia and markedly raised inflammatory markers. Coronary artery dilatation and aneurysm rate was 21.1%. 10 (4.9%) met full criteria for Kawasaki disease. 98% had positive Sars COV2 positive serology with/without positive PCR. 1 child from this group died (case fatality rate 0.5%)

Class 2: 169 (29.6%) patients. Median age 10 years. In this group, 129 (76.3%) had respiratory system involvement. These patients were significantly more likely to have cough, shortness, ARDS. Coronary artery dilatation and aneurysm rate 15.8%. 5 children (3%) met full criteria for Kawasaki disease. Most of this group (84%) had Sars CoV2 positive PCR without positive serology. This suggested Class 2 had severe acute Covid 19 disease. Nine children in this group died, giving the highest case fatality 5.8%

Class 3: 198 (34.7%) patients. Median age 6 years (significantly younger). This group had the highest prevalence of rash (62.6%), and mucocutaneous lesions (44.9%). Prevalence of coronary artery aneurysm and dilatations was 18.2%. 6.6% met criteria for complete Kawasaki disease. This group had the lowest prevalence of underlying medical conditions, organ system involvement, complications (e.g., shock, myocarditis), and markers of inflammation and cardiac damage. 63.1% had positive SARS-CoV-2 serology only and 33.8% had both serologic confirmation and positive RT-PCR results. None of these children died.

Comparison with UK report of PIMS-TS;The association of Covid 19 with an inflammatory syndrome has been reported in many countries across Europe following on from the peak outbreaks in the respective countries. In the UK, Whittaker et al, in JAMA in June, published a cohort of 58 children who met the criteria for PIMS-TS. These 58 children were reported as one group; however they were stratified by shock, Kawasaki disease, Kawasaki clinical criteria, coronary artery aneurysm, and prevalence of Sars CoV 2 infection (PCR or serology). Though direct comparison across the groups is somewhat difficult, some similarities and differences are apparent.

CDC Class 1 with shock abdominal pain and a somewhat older age group at presentation, with markedly raised inflammatory markers, is seen also in the UK group. The prevalence of abdominal symptoms is significantly higher in those where KD disease or clinical criteria is not met.

Similarly CDC Class 3 group of younger children with increase prevalence of mucocutaneous lesions, and rash w