The Epidemiological and Clinical Characteristics of 81 Children with COVID-19 in a Pandemic Hospital in Turkey: an Observational Cohort Study

Korkmaz M. F., Ture E., Dorum B. A., Kilic Z. B.

JOURNAL OF KOREAN MEDICAL SCIENCE, vol.35, no.25, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 25
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.3346/jkms.2020.35.e236
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Children, Clinical Symptoms, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Newborn, SARS-CoV-2, CORONAVIRUS, PNEUMONIA
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: No


Background: Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected millions of people throughout the world since December 2019. However, there is a limited amount of data about pediatric patients infected with the disease agent, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS- CoV-2). Methods: The epidemiological, laboratory, radiological, and treatment features of the pediatric patients who were positive for SARS-CoV-2 based on the reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, were investigated retrospectively. Results: The median age of 81 children included in the study was 9.50 years (0-17.75 years). The most frequent symptoms at the time of admission were fever (58%), cough (52%), and fatigue or myalgia (19%). The abnormal laboratory findings in these cases were decreased lymphocytes (2.5%, n = 2), leucopenia (5%, n = 4), and increased lactate dehydrogenase (17.2%, n = 14), C-reactive protein (16%, n = 13), procalcitonin (3.7%, n = 3), and D- dimer (12.3%, n = 10). Three (4%) patients had consolidation in chest computed tomography, and three (4%) had ground-glass opacities. None of the patients needed intensive care except for the newborns. The median time to turn SARS-CoV-2 negative in the RT-PCR test was 5 (3-10) days. The median length of hospital stay was 5 (4-10) days. The time to turn SARS- CoV-2 negative in the RT-PCR test and the length of hospital stay were significantly longer for those aged five years or younger than others ( P = 0.037, P = 0.01). Conclusion: Compared to adults, COVID-19 is milder and more distinctive in children. As a result, more conservative approaches might be preferred in children for the diagnostic, clinical, and even therapeutic applications.