Gaining a Better Understanding of Co-Infections in Children with COVID-19 | #covid19 | #kids | #childern

Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak this past winter in Wuhan, China, we have
learned about the basic epidemiology of COVID-19 in children, but there is still much
we do not know about the disease process and what modifies it. This week, Xing et
al (10.1542/peds.2020-0961) share with us information regarding co-infection with other reported respiratory
pathogens in children infected with SARS-CoV-2. We thought this study was so important
that we released it two months before it appears in our July issue. Nearly all of
the 72 cases in this study were infected by household contacts. Among all subjects,
34 were tested for co-infections, of whom 19 had other viral pathogens in addition
to SARS-CoV-2. There is also information regarding the identification and prolonged
existence of the virus in fecal specimens from some subjects. 

The authors point out some important distinctions between how this illness manifests
itself in pediatric versus adult patients. After reading this study, would you test
for co-infection when testing for coronavirus in your pediatric patients? Would you
only do it for patients sick enough to require hospitalization? If you think a child
has respiratory syncytial virus or influenza based on contact history, would you also
test for SARS-CoV-2? Although this is a small study, the high prevalence of co-infections
raises the possibility that children may be harboring more than one viral infection
at once. We welcome your thoughts on testing for co-infection by sharing your input
via this blog, on our website where the article is posted, or with comments on our
social media pages on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Copyright © 2020 American Academy of Pediatrics


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