What are the characteristics and outcomes of children with COVID-19?

Bottom Line:

This study confirms that COVID-19 can cause severe illness in children but not as severe as in adult patients. Similar to adult COVID-19 patients, severe disease in children is associated with pre-existing comorbidities.


Shekerdemian, L. et al. Characteristics and Outcomes of Children With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Infection Admitted to US and Canadian Pediatric Intensive Care Units. JAMA Pediatrics (2020). DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.1948

Date Published:

11 May 2020


The study describes demographic characteristics and the clinical course of 48 COVID-19 positive patients admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit. The median age of patients was 13 years, and half were male. 35 of 48 patients (73%) presented with respiratory symptoms. The most common comorbidity was a developmental delay or genetic disease, found in 19/48 (40%) of patients, followed by immune suppression found in 11/48 (23%) of patients. Overall, the fatality rate in these pediatric patients was 4.2%, which is lower than that reported for adult patients in intensive care units (50-62%)

Summary by: David Lee