Infants under 90 days of age who tested positive for COVID-19 tend to be well, with little or no respiratory involvement, according to a report from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. The primary or only symptom was found to be fever. Their findings were published in The Journal of Pediatrics.
lead author Leena B. Mithal, MD, MSCI, pediatric infectious diseases expert from Lurie Children’s and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine said, “While there is limited data on infants with COVID-19 from the United States, our findings suggest that these babies mostly have mild illness and may not be at higher risk of severe disease as initially reported from China.”
Leena added, “Most of the infants in our study had fever, which suggests that for young infants being evaluated because of fever, COVID-19 may be an important cause, particularly in a region with widespread community activity. However, evaluation for bacterial infection in young infants with fever remains important.”
18 infants were included in the study. None of them had a significant medical history. Half of these infants were admitted to the hospital’s general inpatient service needed no oxygen, respiratory support, or intensive care. The indications for the admission were mainly clinical observation, monitoring of feeding tolerance, and ruling-out bacterial infection with empiric intravenous antibiotics in infants younger than 60 days.
Six of the nine admitted to the hospital, had gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms (poor feeding, vomiting, and diarrhea). Dr. Mithal said, “It is unclear whether young infants with fever and a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 require hospital admission.” Age, need for preemptive treatment of bacterial infection, clinical assessment, feeding tolerance, and adequacy of follow-up determined the decision of hospital-admission.