Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Clinical and Evolutionary Features of SARS Cov-2 Infection (COVID-19) in Children, A Romanian Perspective

Version 1 : Received: 24 July 2022 / Approved: 26 July 2022 / Online: 26 July 2022 (04:43:02 CEST)

How to cite: Jugulete, G.; Pacurar, D.; Pavelescu, M.L.; Safta, M.; Gheorghe, E.; Borcos, B.; Pavelescu, C.; Oros, M.; Merisescu, M. Clinical and Evolutionary Features of SARS Cov-2 Infection (COVID-19) in Children, A Romanian Perspective. Preprints 2022, 2022070384 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202207.0384.v1). Jugulete, G.; Pacurar, D.; Pavelescu, M.L.; Safta, M.; Gheorghe, E.; Borcos, B.; Pavelescu, C.; Oros, M.; Merisescu, M. Clinical and Evolutionary Features of SARS Cov-2 Infection (COVID-19) in Children, A Romanian Perspective. Preprints 2022, 2022070384 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202207.0384.v1).

Abstract

Background: Given the potential for additional development to clarify a better knowledge of the overall impact of COVID-19 on the pediatric population, the clinical symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and adolescents are still being explored. Morbidity in children is characterized by a variable clinical course. Our study's goal was to compare clinical aspects of 230 pediatric patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and were hospitalized between April 2020 and March 2022. Methods: In a retrospective analysis, we compared two groups hospitalized in the infectious diseases clinical ward IX at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases "Prof. Dr. Matei Bals," Bucharest, Romania. The first group of 88 patients was admitted between (April–December 2020) and their clinical manifestations were compared with the second group of 142 children followed between July 2021 and March 2022. Results: Of 230 children, the median age was 4.5 (interquartile range 0.6-17) years, 53.9% were male. 88 (36.21%) patients (first group) were admitted during the second wave in Romania, mostly aged < 5 years old, and experienced digestive manifestations like fever (p=0.001), and diarrhoea (p=0.004). The second group experienced different clinical signs when compared with the first group, with higher temperature and increased respiratory symptoms analogous to those of acute respiratory viral infections. The proportion in the second group increased, and 64.5% had symptoms for a median interval of 5 days; age (0-4 -years old) and length of stay were both proportionally inversely (p<0.01) and with correlation with hospital admission (p = 0.04). We report two Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS) in the second group, with favourable evolution under treatment. Comorbidities were risk factors for complications appear (p < 0.001) in both groups. All paediatric cases admitted to our clinic evolved favourably and no death was recorded. Conclusions: In the first group children experienced digestive symptoms, whereas the second group experienced mild and moderate respiratory symptoms. We confirmed risk factors for severe cases as manifestations across the age spectrum, 0-4 (digestive symptoms) and 5-12 years old (for respiratory symptoms), associated comorbidities, fever, and male gender. The potential effects of COVID-19 infection in children older than 5 years should encourage caregivers to vaccinate and improve the prognosis among pediatric patients at risk.

Keywords

SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; children; clinical features; comorbidities; male genderSARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, children, clinical features, comorbidities, male gender

Subject

MEDICINE & PHARMACOLOGY, Pediatrics

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