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Study Identifies What Factors Can Predict Severe COVID-19 in Children

Un estudio identifica qué factores pueden predecir la COVID-19 grave en niños

A new international study led by the University of Calgary (Canada), the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, and the University of California-Davis Medical Center (United States) has provided a clearer picture of the impact of the COVID-19 infection and the risk of serious outcomes in young people around the world.

The study, published in the journal ‘JAMA’, followed more than 10,300 children in 41 emergency departments in 10 countries, including Canada, the United States, Italy, Spain and Australia.

Researchers followed more than 3,200 children who came to hospital emergency rooms and tested positive for COVID-19. About three percent (107 total) of those diagnosed with COVID-19 experienced severe outcomes within two weeks of visiting an emergency department.

Furthermore, 23% (735 in total) were hospitalized for treatment. Serious outcomes included cardiac or cardiovascular complications, such as myocarditis (inflammation of the heart), as well as neurological, respiratory, or infectious problems. Four children died.

"The study aimed to quantify the frequency and risk factors for severe outcomes in children with COVID-19. We found that older age, having a pre-existing chronic disease, and the duration of symptoms were important risk factors for severe outcomes."explains Stephen Freedman, co-director of the study.

The researchers also found that children considered healthy on an initial emergency department visit rarely deteriorated significantly after the first visit.

"Fortunately, the risk of developing serious illness in children with COVID-19 discharged from the emergency department is very low. Our findings can reassure parents and clinicians for children who are well enough to be treated in the community, while providing important information about which children may be at particular risk for serious outcomes."says another of those responsible for the investigation, Todd Florin.

Although asthma has previously been suggested as a risk factor for serious outcomes, this study was unable to confirm an association. Very young babies were also not found to be at increased risk for severe outcomes.


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