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Title: Prospective characterisation of SARS-CoV-2 infections among children presenting to tertiary paediatric hospitals across Australia in 2020: a national cohort study.
Authors: Wurzel, Danielle
McMinn, Alissa
Hoq, Monsurul
Blyth, Christopher C
Burgner, David
Tosif, Shidan
Buttery, Jim
Carr, Jeremy
Clark, Julia E
Cheng, Allen C
Dinsmore, Nicole
Francis, Joshua Reginald
Kynaston, Anne
Lucas, Ryan
Marshall, Helen
McMullan, Brendan
Singh-Grewal, Davinder
Wood, Nicholas
Macartney, Kristine
Britton, Phil N
Crawford, Nigel W
Citation: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
BMJ Open. 2021 Nov 8;11(11):e054510. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-054510.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To present Australia-wide data on paediatric COVID-19 and multisystem inflammatory syndromes to inform health service provision and vaccination prioritisation. DESIGN: Prospective, multicentre cohort study. SETTING: Eight tertiary paediatric hospitals across six Australian states and territories in an established research surveillance network-Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease (PAEDS). PARTICIPANTS: All children aged <19 years with SARS-CoV-2 infection including COVID-19, Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome Temporally Associated with SARS-CoV-2 (PIMS-TS) and Kawasaki-like disease TS infection (KD-TS) treated at a PAEDS site from 24 March 2020 to 31 December 2020. INTERVENTION: Laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. MAIN OUTCOME: Incidence of severe disease among children with COVID-19, PIMS-TS and KD-TS. We also compared KD epidemiology before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS: Among 386 children with SARS-CoV-2 infection, 381 (98.7%) had COVID-19 (median 6.3 years (IQR 2.1-12.8),53.3% male) and 5 (1.3%) had multisystem inflammatory syndromes (PIMS-TS, n=4; KD-TS, n=1) (median 7.9 years (IQR 7.8-9.8)). Most children with COVID-19 (n=278; 73%) were Australian-born from jurisdictions with highest community transmission. Comorbidities were present in 72 (18.9%); cardiac and respiratory comorbidities were most common (n=32/72;44%). 37 (9.7%) children with COVID-19 were hospitalised, and two (0.5%) required intensive care. Postinfective inflammatory syndromes (PIMS-TS/KD-TS) were uncommon (n=5; 1.3%), all were hospitalised and three (3/5; 60%) required intensive care management. All children recovered and there were no deaths. KD incidence remained stable during the pandemic compared with prepandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Most children with COVID-19 had mild disease. Severe disease was less frequent than reported in high prevalence settings. Preventative strategies, such as vaccination, including children and adolescents, could reduce both the acute and postinfective manifestations of the disease.
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Journal title: BMJ open
Volume: 11
Pages: e054510
Publication Date: 2021-11-08
Type: Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-054510
Orcid: 0000-0003-2917-2773
Appears in Collections:(a) NT Health Research Collection

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