Objectives: To describe the epidemiological characteristics, clinical presentation, severity of the disease, and early outcomes of children with COVID-19 in Pakistan with special reference to underlying comorbid conditions. Study Design: Descriptive cross-sectional study. Place and Duration of Study: The Children’s Hospital and The Institute of Child Health, Lahore, from March 15 to July 31, 2020. Material and Methods: We analyzed data on all laboratory-confirmed cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARC-COV-2) infection in children admitted to a single tertiary care center including patient characteristics, clinical course and hospital outcomes with special reference to underlying comorbidity. Results: Of 42 symptomatic children, 19 (45%) had a pre-existing comorbidity, the most common of which was chronic kidney disease (7/19-37%). The median age was 7.75 years (IQR: 1.3–11.2) with a slight female preponderance (55%). Fever (79%), respiratory symptoms (52%), and gastrointestinal symptoms (14%) were the most common symptoms. No direct or indirect contact with COVID-19 positive person was identified in 12 patients (29%). Patients with pre-existing comorbidity required mechanical ventilation and prolonged intensive care monitoring than those without. There were three fatalities in the groups of 42 (7%) patients, and underlying comorbid conditions were significantly associated with a fatal outcome (p=0.032). Conclusion: COVID-19 in children is generally mild with good outcome. Chronic kidney disease was the commonest co-morbidity and the presence of an underlying co-morbid condition is a risk factor for prolonged hospital stay and a poor outcome.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Pakistan Paediatric Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|