A new international study offers a clearer picture of the impact of COVID-19 infection and the risk of severe outcomes on young people around the world.
The study was co-led by a team of researchers from UC Davis Health, University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. It followed more than 10,300 children at 41 emergency departments in 10 countries, including the United States and Canada.
Researchers tracked more than 3,200 of those children who tested positive for COVID-19. Approximately three percent (107 total) of those diagnosed with COVID-19 experienced severe outcomes within two weeks of their visit to an emergency department. In addition, 23 percent (735 total), were hospitalized for treatment. Severe outcomes included cardiac or cardiovascular complications, such as myocarditis (inflammation of the heart), as well as neurologic, respiratory, or infectious problems. Four children died.
The study identified patients older than five years of age, having a pre-existing chronic illness, a previous episode of pneumonia, and presenting to the hospital four to seven days after symptom onset were at higher risk for severe outcomes.