What are the symptoms of COVID-19 in the pediatric population?

Bottom Line:

Symptoms in the children in this study were nonspecific and no children required respiratory support or intensive care. Notably, eight children persistently tested positive on rectal swabs even after nasopharyngeal testing was negative, raising the possibility of fecal–oral transmission.

Reference:

Xu, Y. et al. Characteristics of pediatric SARS-CoV-2 infection and potential evidence for persistent fecal viral shedding. Nature Medicine (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-0817-4

Date Published:

13 March 2020

Synopsis:

Ten children ages 2 months to 15 years old were admitted to the hospital and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection due to their exposure history. Upon admission, seven had fever. Other symptom presentations included coughing (five children), sore throat (four children), nasal congestion and runny nose (two children) and diarrhea (three children), one child was completely asymptomatic. None of the patients had other symptoms commonly seen in adult patients such as lethargy, shortness of breath, muscle ache, headache, nausea and vomiting and disorientation. Chest X-rays of these patients were either normal or showed only coarse lung markings without unilateral or bilateral pneumonia. Notably, eight children persistently tested positive on rectal swabs even after nasopharyngeal testing was negative, raising the possibility of fecal–oral transmission.

Summary by: David Lee