COVID-19 infection prevalence in pediatric population: Etiology, clinical presentation, and outcome

J Infect Public Health. 2020 Dec;13(12):1791-1796. doi: 10.1016/j.jiph.2020.10.008. Epub 2020 Oct 20.


Novel COVID-19 infections caused major morbidity and mortality globally in the adult age group. Likewise, SARS-COV-2 infections in children are highly risky in the selected patient population. We performed a focused literature search of published reports from December 1, 2019, till August 20, 2020. The aim was to explore the etiology, clinical presentations, and outcome of pediatric COVID-19 patients. Viral respiratory infections are associated with high societal costs for children. In addition, children with asymptomatic SARS-COV-2 infections can be a source of COVID-19 spread to parents and caregivers. The major reported risk factors for pediatric COVID-19 cases were close contact with a SARS-COV-2 positive family member, a history of travel, and/or living in endemic areas. Children with COVID-19 who required ICU care had various comorbidities, such as malignancy. As the pandemic evolved, multiple cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children and adolescents temporarily related to covid-19 (MIS-C) were reported. A unique population is neonates born to COVID-19 affected mothers, as there is an urgent need to optimize their management and outcome during this rapidly evolving pandemic. The early identification of SARS-COV-2 infection in infants and children has important direct management effects in these children and public health implications because of the effects on disease transmission control measures.

Keywords: COVID-19; Infection; Pediatrics; SARS-CoV-2.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / etiology
  • Child
  • Child Health Services
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome* / etiology

Supplementary concepts

  • pediatric multisystem inflammatory disease, COVID-19 related