Characteristics and Management of Children with COVID-19 in Turkey

Balkan Med J. 2020 Oct 23;37(6):341-347. doi: 10.4274/balkanmedj.galenos.2020.2020.7.52. Epub 2020 Aug 31.


Aims: Limited data about disease management strategies are available for pediatric patients with coronavirus disease-2019, particularly in Turkey. This study aimed to share the data on patients aged under 18 years in our country to be beneficial for understanding the disease course in children.

Methods: A retrospective review of the medical records of pediatric patients aged under 18 years who were confirmed as coronavirus disease-2019 between March 11, and June 23, 2020, and were admitted to our hospitals was conducted.

Results: A total of 220 pediatric patients with coronavirus disease-2019 were evaluated, of which 48.2% were boys, with a median age of 10 years, and 9.5% had underlying diseases. Patients were classified according to severity, with the percentages of asymptomatic, mild, moderate, and critical/severe cases determined to be 25.5%, 45%, 26.8%, and 2.7%, respectively. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was required in two patients (0.9%) and mechanical ventilation in three (1.4%). Targeted therapies were used in six patients (2.7%), with hydroxychloroquine being the most commonly used agent either alone (one patient) or in combination with favipiravir (five patients). Two patients (0.9%) died, and nine (4.1%) were still hospitalized during the study period.

Conclusion: Although the disease course of coronavirus disease-2019 seems to be mild in children, critical illness is significant, and the treatment strategy primarily should consist of supportive care according to our preliminary observations.

Keywords: COVID-19; Turkey; children; favipiravir; refugees.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amides / therapeutic use
  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications*
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Coronavirus Infections / therapy*
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxychloroquine / therapeutic use
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Pandemics
  • Patient Acuity*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / complications*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Viral / therapy*
  • Pyrazines / therapeutic use
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Turkey


  • Amides
  • Antimalarials
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Pyrazines
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • favipiravir