Moderate-to-Severe COVID 19 in Children: NEJM

By Dr KK Aggarwal, President CMAAO, HCFI and National President IMA

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A study of six young children in Wuhan, China, hospitalized with COVID-19 found that four of them developed pneumonia, with a median hospital stay of seven days. The findings showed abnormal lab results, including low levels of lymphocytes for all six children ages 1 through 7, with six patients presenting with fever and cough, and four of six presenting with vomiting. Moreover, one child was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit and received pooled immune globulin, the authors wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine.

But infections in children did not seem to figure into recent guidance for mitigating COVID-19 spread in New Rochelle, New York, where substantial local transmission was underway. It did not recommend closing schools, but only “social distancing measures,” such as cancelling large gatherings, postponing athletic contests, and limiting “classroom mixing.” Distance learning was recommended only for students “at risk of severe illness.”

The authors examined data from a larger cohort of 366 hospitalized children age 16 and younger, from Jan. 7 to Jan. 15, 2020. There were 23 testing positive for influenza A, 20 for influenza B, and six for COVID-19.

Source Reference: Liu W, et al “Detection of Covid-19 in Children in Early January 2020 in Wuhan, China” N Engl J Med 2020; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc2003717.

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