Longer communicable period of COVID-19 infection in children: a
Objectives: The clinical characteristics and outcomes of COVID-19
pneumonia in children are different with adults. We evaluated the clinic
characteristics and communicable period of COVID-19 pneumonia in
pediatric patients of Changsha, capital of Hunan province. Methods: This
is a retrospective study. We enrolled all 12 COVID-19 pneumonia
pediatric patients and 134 adult patients in the Public Healthy Medical
Center of Changsha from 29th Jan. to 20th Feb. Final date of follow-up
was 10th Mar. We analyzed the characteristics and communicable period
communicable period of pediatric patients, compared the differences
between the pediatric and adult patients. Results: Of the pediatric
patients enrolled, the median age was 8.5 years old. Four (33.3%)
children were asymptomatic, but one had image changes. Fever 5(41.67%)
and cough 4(33.33%) were the most common symptoms at onset of illness.
Leukopenia, ALT/AST, LDH, CRP and PCT elevation were significantly less
than adults. Only six children (50%) showed chest CT images changes.
All patients were given antiviral drugs and supportive treatment. The
estimated median communicable period was 15(8–17.75) days, which was
significantly longer than adult patients 10 (8-12) days (P=0.044).
However, the clinic cause of adult patients was much severe than
pediatric patients, including Leukopenia, CRP elevation, typical
radiological changes, clinic classification, and supporting therapy.
Conclusion: In summary, majority of pediatric patients have a mild
clinic cause and longer communicable period than adult, so they may need
a longer quarantine period likely to be a supper source of infection.