The different clinical characteristics of corona virus disease cases between children and their families in China - the character of children with COVID-19

Emerg Microbes Infect. 2020 Dec;9(1):707-713. doi: 10.1080/22221751.2020.1744483.


This study aims to analyze the different clinical characteristics between children and their families infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Clinical data from nine children and their 14 families were collected, including general status, clinical, laboratory test, and imaging characteristics. All the children were detected positive result after their families onset. Three children had fever (22.2%) or cough (11.2%) symptoms and six (66.7%) children had no symptom. Among the 14 adult patients, the major symptoms included fever (57.1%), cough (35.7%), chest tightness/pain (21.4%), fatigue (21.4%) and sore throat (7.1%). Nearly 70% of the patients had normal (71.4%) or decreased (28.6%) white blood cell counts, and 50% (7/14) had lymphocytopenia. There were 10 adults (71.4%) showed abnormal imaging. The main manifestations were pulmonary consolidation (70%), nodular shadow (50%), and ground glass opacity (50%). Five discharged children were admitted again because their stool showed positive result in SARS-CoV-2 PCR. COVID-19 in children is mainly caused by family transmission, and their symptoms are mild and prognosis is better than adult. However, their PCR result in stool showed longer time than their families. Because of the mild or asymptomatic clinical process, it is difficult to recognize early for pediatrician and public health staff.

Keywords: Coronavirus; children; clinical characteristics; corona virus diseases-19 (COVID-19); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • Chest Pain
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • China
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques
  • Coronavirus Infections* / diagnosis
  • Coronavirus Infections* / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronavirus Infections* / physiopathology
  • Cough
  • Family Health
  • Feces / virology
  • Female
  • Fever
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / diagnostic imaging
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / physiopathology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2

Grants and funding

This study was funded by the Jinan Science and Technology Bureau [grant number 201907032]. The funders had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.