Epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of 10 children with coronavirus disease 2019 in Changsha, China

J Clin Virol. 2020 Jun:127:104353. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2020.104353. Epub 2020 Apr 10.


Background: The outbreak of a new coronavirus, first reported in Wuhan, China, is spreading around the world. Information on the characteristics of children with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is limited.

Methods: In this retrospective study, we recruited 10 children infected with SARS-COV-2 from January 27 to March 10, 2020, in Changsha, China. We report the epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, and high-resolution CT findings for these children. Qualitative descriptive analysis was used to describe the key results.

Results: Ten children were included. Three were male and seven were female. Three were from Wuhan, Hubei Province, and seven were from Changsha. All had a history of close contact with adults with COVID-19 before the onset of disease. Clinical manifestations included fever in four cases, respiratory symptoms in three cases, febrile convulsions in one case, vomiting in one case, abdominal pain in one case, and asymptomatic infection in two cases. All the children tested positive for nucleic acid in throat swabs at admission. Stool swabs of three cases were positive for nucleic acid after several days of fever. In nine children, blood routine results were normal, whereas in one case the white blood cell count was elevated. In four cases, CT findings of the lungs showed light ground-glass opacities, one case showed changes similar to bronchopneumonia, and the remaining cases were normal. All were treated with symptomatic support without complications.

Conclusion: Our findings indicate that intrafamily transmission may be the main form of transmission of COVID-19 in children, and persistent intestinal excretion of virus is another characteristic among children. The results of stool swab tests should be considered for discharge and release from isolation.

Keywords: Clinical characteristics; Coronavirus disease 2019; Epidemiologic; SARS-COV-2.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / epidemiology
  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Asymptomatic Infections / epidemiology
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • China / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Coronavirus Infections / pathology
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission
  • Feces / virology*
  • Female
  • Fever / virology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / virology*
  • Male
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / pathology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission
  • Qualitative Research
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed