Convulsions in children with COVID-19 during the Omicron wave

Acta Paediatr. 2022 May;111(5):1023-1026. doi: 10.1111/apa.16276. Epub 2022 Feb 10.


Aim: Most children with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, but data on the Omicron variant are rare. This paper describes unexpected cases with convulsions during 1 week in January 2022.

Methods: Four children with COVID-19 were admitted with convulsions to the paediatric department in Örebro, Sweden, when Omicron accounted for more than 98% of the country's COVID-19 cases. Three children tested positive for the virus, and one had clinical COVID-19. I was able to contact the parents of three boys, who gave consent for these case studies.

Results: Two boys aged 3 and 21 months tested positive for the virus and a 14-year-old boy tested negative, but had a cold and family members who had tested positive. The teenager had a history of urinary tract infections, but the younger boys had no earlier comorbidities. None had a history of epilepsy or febrile convulsions. The younger children had a fever and the teenager had upper respiratory symptoms. The 3-month-old child had repeated convulsions for several hours, the 21-month-old had continuous convulsions for 15-20 min, and the teenager had a convulsion for 30-60 s, followed by uncharacteristic aggression.

Conclusion: Convulsions may be a sign of the Omicron variant in children with COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; Omicron; convulsions; pandemic; seizures.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • COVID-19* / complications
  • Child
  • Fever
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Seizures, Febrile*

Supplementary concepts

  • SARS-CoV-2 variants