Clinical manifestations and pathogen characteristics in children admitted for suspected COVID-19
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has spread around the world. However, approaches to distinguish COVID-19 from pneumonia caused by other pathogens have not yet been reported. We retrospectively analyzed the clinical data of 97 children with probable COVID-19. A total of 13 (13.4%) patients were confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection by nucleic acid RT-PCR testing, and 41 (42.3%) patients were found to be infected with other pathogens. Notably, no pathogen was detected in 43 (44.3%) patients. Among all patients, 25 (25.8%) had familial cluster exposure history, and 52 (53.6%) had one or more coexisting conditions. Fifteen (15.5%) patients were admitted or transferred to the PICU. In the 11 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 5 (45.5%) and 7 (63.6%) were positive for IgM and IgG against SARS-CoV-2, respectively. In 22 patients with suspected COVID-19, 1 (4.5%) was positive for IgG but negative for IgM. The most frequently detected pathogen was (29, 29.9%). One patient with confirmed COVID 19 died. Our results strongly indicated that the detection of asymptomatic COVID 19 or coexisting conditions must be strengthened in pediatric patients. These cases may be difficult to diagnose as COVID-19 unless etiologic analysis is conducted. A serologic test can be a useful adjunctive diagnostic tool in cases where SARS-CoV-2 infection is highly suspected but the nucleic acid test is negative.
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