The authors were interested in the epidemiological and clinical features of paediatric patients with COVID-19. They retrospectively reviewed the data for paediatric patients (aged 0–16 years) with confirmed COVID-19 in three hospitals in Zhejiang, China. 36 children (mean age 8·3 years) were identified. The route of transmission was through close contact with family members (89%) or a history of exposure to the epidemic area (33%). 22% of children had both types of exposure. 53% patients had moderate pneumonias, and 47% had mild symptoms; being either asymptomatic (28%) or upper respiratory symptoms (19%). Common symptoms upon admission were fever (36%) and dry cough (19%). Of those with fever, 11% had a temperature ≥38.5°C and 25% had a temperature 37.5-38.5°C. Abnormal laboratory findings were: elevated creatine kinase MB (31%), decreased lymphocytes (31%), leucopenia (19%) and elevated procalcitonin (17%). Results significantly associated with severity of COVID-19 were: decreased lymphocytes, elevated temperature, and high levels of procalcitonin, D-dimers and creatine kinase MB. All children received aerosolised interferon-alfa BD, 39% received lopinavir-ritonavir BD and 17% needed supplementary oxygen. The mean stay in hospital was 14 days. All children recovered. Therefore while COVID-19 was either mild or moderate in all of the children cared for, a large number also had minimal symptoms.
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