Since December 2019, COVID-19 has occurred unexpectedly and emerged as a health problem worldwide. Despite the rapidly increasing number of cases in subsequent weeks, the clinical characteristics of pediatric cases are rarely described. A cross-sectional multicenter study was carried out in 10 hospitals across Hubei province. A total of 25 confirmed pediatric cases of COVID-19 were collected. The demographic data, epidemiological history, underlying diseases, clinical manifestations, laboratory and radiological data, treatments, and outcomes were analyzed. Of 25 hospitalized patients with COVID-19, the boy to girl ratio was 1.27:1. The median age was 3 years. COVID-19 cases in children aged <3 years, 3.6 years, and ≥6-years patients were 10 (40%), 6 (24%), and 9 (36%), respectively. The most common symptoms at onset of illness were fever (13 [52%]), and dry cough (11 [44%]). Chest CT images showed essential normal in 8 cases (33.3%), unilateral involvement of lungs in 5 cases (20.8%), and bilateral involvement in 11 cases (45.8%). Clinical diagnoses included upper respiratory tract infection (n=8), mild pneumonia (n=15), and critical cases (n=2). Two critical cases (8%) were given invasive mechanical ventilation, corticosteroids, and immunoglobulin. The symptoms in 24 (96%) of 25 patients were alleviated and one patient had been discharged. It was concluded that children were susceptible to COVID-19 like adults, while the clinical presentations and outcomes were more favorable in children. However, children less than 3 years old accounted for majority cases and critical cases lied in this age group, which demanded extra attentions during home caring and hospitalization treatment.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; children; coronavirus.