Clinical characteristics of pediatric cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Hunan, China: A retrospective, multi-center case series

Lei Wu, Xiao-Fo Zhang, Jia Li, Song-Qing Wei, Yong Yang, Xiu-Ying Yi, Xin-Ping Jiang, Hai-Ying Han, Zhe-Feng Zhong, Xiao-Ying Cao, Feng-Jun Li, Ge Zhou, Xiao-Hui Gong, Wen-Ting Zha, He-Bin Xie, Tuan-Mei Wang, Man-Zhi Wang

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Received date: 7th September 2020

Objective To investigate the epidemiological characteristics, clinical features, treatment and short-term prognosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children. Methods A retrospective analysis was conducted in children with SARS-CoV-2 admitted to twelve hospitals in eight cities in Hunan province, China, from January 26, 2020 to June 30, 2020. Results A total of 48 children were enrolled in this study. 11 cases (23%) were asymptomatic, 15 cases (31%) were mild, 20 cases (42%) were moderate, and 2 cases (4%) were severe. No children were critical requiring intensive care. The most common symptom was fever (42%), cough (40%), fatigue (17%) and diarrhea (10%). The total peripheral blood leukocytes count decreased in two case (4%), Lymphocytopenia was present in 5 cases (10%). There were abnormal chest CT changes in 22 children (46%), including 15 (68%) with patchy ground glass opacity.  In addition to supportive treatment, 41 children (85%) received antiviral therapy, 11 patients and (23%) were treated with antibiotics, 2 children (4%) were treated with methylprednisolone and IVIG. There was no death occurred. Conclusions Most children with SARS CoV-2 infection in Hunan province were asymptomatic, mild or moderate. Severe cases are rare. Close family contact was the main route of infection. The younger the age, the less obvious symptoms for children might be. Epidemiological history, nucleic acid test and chest imaging were important tools for the diagnosis in children. Key words   COVID-19; Pediatric infection; Epidemiology; Symptoms; Laboratory characteristics.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on a preprint server, which is currently undergoing peer review at Scientific Reports. The findings have yet to be thoroughly evaluated, nor has a decision on ultimate publication been made. Therefore, the results reported should not be considered conclusive, and these findings should not be used to inform clinical practice, or public health policy, or be promoted as verified information.

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Nature Research, Springer Nature