Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Children: Vulnerable or Spared? A Systematic Review

Cureus. 2020 May 20;12(5):e8207. doi: 10.7759/cureus.8207.


The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected people from all cultures, religions, gender, and age groups around the world. In the last few months, several studies have been conducted on various aspects of COVID-19. Our goal was to see if the pediatric population is vulnerable to this infection. In this review, we conducted extensive research mainly by using the PubMed database. We used Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and associated keywords to engage in an extensive search focussing on COVID-19 in the pediatric population. We discovered that most of the studies were from China, and some of them were in the Chinese language. However, English translations of many of the studies were available. For accessing the relevant statistical data, we relied on the World Health Organization (WHO) resources and the official website of the Ontario Government ( Most of the studies showed that the virus has affected the pediatric population. However, we found some differences among these studies regarding the severity of symptoms in children affected by COVID-19. While a few studies stated that the virus has presented with milder symptoms in the pediatric population, some studies have presented data of children who have suffered life-threatening complications due to COVID-19. Although the data is limited, we have been able to conclude from the studies we reviewed that COVID-19 does indeed affect children the same way as any other age group. Moreover, children can act as carriers of the virus and can endanger the lives of other individuals. Besides, neonates and infants can easily acquire the infection from family members without having any exposure to the outside world. Hence, utmost care should be taken while handling this population. More trials and studies should be conducted to analyze the impact of early diagnosis of infection in children and its management.

Keywords: corona virus; covid-19; covid-19 in children; covid-19 in neonates; covid-19 outbreak; novel corona virus; sars-cov-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus -2); sars-cov-2 in pediatric patients.

Publication types

  • Review