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Symptoms and Transmission of COVID-19 Infection in Children
  • Celal Özcan,
  • İzzettin Toktaş
Celal Özcan
Diyarbakır Children's Hospital
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İzzettin Toktaş
Diyarbakır Children's Hospital
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Abstract

Objective: Children with COVID-19 are reported to get the infection from an adult contact, with minimal secondary transmission from children. Children do not appear to be efficient transmitters of infection. Common symptoms in adults infected with COVID-19 include fever, dry cough and fatigue. The symptoms in children are more atypical than in adults, and coughing is lighter. Methods: Children aged 0-18 who was admitted to the emergency department from March 20 to September 15, 2020 and had confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 with a positive real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were included in the study. Results: RT-PCR tests were done in 835 children with suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection and the test was positive in 178 (21.3%) children. The most common symptoms at the onset of illness were fever (67.4%), headache (41.1%), cough (36.6%), sore throat (25.7%), fatigue (22.9%), myalgia (22.9%) and diarrhea (20.6%). One hundred and seven (61.1%) of the patients were infected by close contact with family members diagnosed with COVID-19, 35 (20%) of the patients were infected via close contact with non-family members diagnosed with COVID-19, 11 (6.3%) of the patients had a history of exposure in an epidemic area, including wedding hall, condolence house and shopping center and 23 (13.1%) of the patients with unknown source of infection. Conclusion: COVID-19 infection is seen to be milder and cause less hospitalizations and patient deaths in children. Crowded indoor environments are the main centers of the spread of the outbreak and children are unlikely to be the main source of infection of the pandemic.