To assess the relevance of systematic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) screening of all children admitted to hospital, we conducted a prospective multicenter study including 438 consecutive hospitalized children. A symptom-based SARS-CoV-2 testing strategy failed to identify 45% (95% confidence interval, 24%-68%) of hospitalized children infected by SARS-CoV-2. To limit intrahospital transmission, a systematic screening of children admitted to hospital should be considered.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2 infection; children; intra-hospital transmission; systematic screening.
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