HealthDay News — Among 10 infants hospitalized with COVID-19, most had mild disease and most commonly presented with gastrointestinal symptoms, according to a research letter published online in JAMA Network Open.

Luc Panetta, MD, from Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine in Montreal, and colleagues report manifestations and severity of disease among infants diagnosed with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and treated at a single institution (February 14th to May 31st, 2020).

The researchers found that 2% of 1165 infants tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection were positive. Nearly one-third of those positive (8 of 25) required hospitalization, plus 2 additional infants transferred to the institution after diagnosis. The most common presenting symptoms were gastrointestinal tract symptoms (85%), fever (81%), and upper respiratory tract symptoms (59%). Clinical manifestation was similar between older and younger infants. However, there was a higher incidence of comorbid conditions among older infants vs younger infants (6 vs 1 patient), including lower birth weight and younger gestational age. Disease was mild in most hospitalized infants (7 of 10), and none required supplemental oxygen. Concurrent urinary tract infections caused by Escherichia coli were seen in 5 infants.

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“Our findings are consistent with previous series describing infants who present with mainly fever, mild disease, and no need for mechanical ventilation or intensive care treatment,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text