To delineate the clinico-epidemiological characteristics of pediatric coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) patients was the objective of the study.
This observational study included 290 pediatric patients with a definite diagnosis of COVID-19 admitted to Dhaka Shishu Hospital, Bangladesh, from April 2021 to October 2021. Clinical and epidemiological characteristics were analyzed based on demographic data, medical history, laboratory tests, and outcome information. Data analysis was performed with SPSS 26. Ethical measures were taken in compliance with the current declaration of Helsinki, and final analysis was performed using SPSS 26.
Of all, 42 (14.5%) were neonates (< 28 days), 88 (30.3%) were infants (28 days to < 1 year) and 160 (55.2%) were children (1–17 years). The median age of the children was 18 (0.3–204) months, 58.3% were male, 62% had malnutrition, and presented with various clinical presentations. The main symptoms were fever (5.7%) and breathlessness (20%). Approximately 22% of children were asymptomatic, and 57% had at least one comorbidity. Fever and abdominal pain were predominant presenting symptoms in children compared with neonates and infants (p < .01 for both), while cough and breathlessness were more frequent in infants (p < .01 for both). The infants suffered significantly from neutropenia and lymphocytosis than neonates and children (p < .001 for both). The discharge and death rates were 77.8% with 6.9%. Overall case fatality was higher among neonates than others.
Compared to other pediatric groups, neonatal case fatality was higher, and COVID-19 in neonates, infants, and children has similar epidemiological and clinical manifestations. The findings from this study might help to guide the development of measures to prevent and treat this ongoing global pandemic of these particular age groups.