HealthDay News – Children of all ages seem to be susceptible to novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) infection, and most cases are asymptomatic, mild, or moderate, according to a study published online March 16 in Pediatrics.

Yuanyuan Dong, from Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, and colleagues conducted a nationwide case series study of 2143 pediatric patients with COVID-19 reported to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention from January 16 to February 8, 2020, to identify the epidemiological characteristics and transmission patterns.

The researchers identified 731 laboratory-confirmed cases and 1412 suspected cases (34.1 and 65.9%, respectively). The median patient age was 7 years (interquartile range, 2 to 13 years), and 56.6% of cases were boys. Of the patients, more than 90% were asymptomatic, mild, or moderate cases. There was a median of 2 days from illness onset to diagnosis. A rapid increase of disease was seen at the early stage of the epidemic, followed by a gradual and steady decline. Over time, disease spread rapidly from Hubei Province to surrounding provinces. Compared with other provinces, more children were infected in Hubei Province.

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“The results of this study provide strong evidence for human-to-human transmission as children were unlikely to visit the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market where the early adult patients were reported to obtain 2019-nCoV,” the authors write.

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