HealthDay News – Children with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath less often than adults with the disease, according to research published in the April 6 early-release issue of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Stephanie Bialek, MD, MPH, and colleagues from the CDC COVID-19 Response Team, analyzed data from 149,760 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States occurring from February 12 to April 2, 2020.

The researchers found that 2572 (1.7%) of the 149,082 reported cases for which age was known were among children aged <18 years. Data on symptoms, underlying conditions, and hospitalization status were available for a small proportion of patients. Of those with available information, symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath were reported for 73% of pediatric patients compared with 93% of adults aged 18 to 64 years during the same period. A total of 5.7% of all pediatric patients were hospitalized, which was lower than the 10% of all adults aged 18 to 64 years (20 vs 33% of those with known hospitalization status). Among pediatric cases included in the analysis, three deaths were reported.

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“Children do not always have fever or cough as reported signs and symptoms,” the authors write. “Clinicians should maintain a high index of suspicion for COVID-19 infection in children and monitor for progression of illness, particularly among infants and children with underlying conditions.”

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