Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the epidemiological, demographic, clinical characteristics and laboratory findings of pediatric COVID-19 patients.
Methods: Patients with a positive COVID-19 nasopharyngeal polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test between 11 March 2020 and 31 December 2020 were evaluated.
Results: During the study period, 3118 patients underwent PCR tests, and 621 of them (19.9%) were positive. Of the patients with a positive test result, 335 were male (53.9%), the median age was 11 years. There were 308 (49.6%) patients that had a history of household exposure. The mean time between the onset of the patients complaints and the diagnosis was 1.88 ± 1.16 days. The most common symptoms were: fever (n = 424), cough (n = 419) and nasal symptoms (n = 157); loss of smell (3.5%) and taste (4.3%) were other symptoms observed in only patients aged 10 years or older. The most common abnormal laboratory finding was lymphopenia (n = 29, 36.7%). Of the 621 patients, the vast majority (n = 546, 87.9%) were classified as mild COVID-19 disease. There was a significant relationship between disease severity and age and comorbidity (p = 0.01 and p < 0.001, respectively). Only 34 patients (5.5%) were admitted to hospital, and two patients were followed-up with a diagnosis of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. The mortality rate was 0.32%.
Conclusion: COVID-19 can cause different symptoms in children. Although the disease generally causes a mild clinic presentation, it should be kept in mind that it may be more severe especially in children with comorbidities.
Keywords: COVID-19; child; emergency medicine; pandemic.
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