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[COVID-19 in hospitalized children and adolescents].

Background: The clinical knowledge about the course, complications and treatment of COVID-19 in children and adolescents is so far limited.

Aim: This systematic review summarizes the current scientific evidence regarding the clinical presentation of COVID-19 in hospitalized children based on available case series from China. In addition, first data from a nationwide pediatric hospital survey conducted by the German Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases (DGPI) are presented.

Methods: This study evaluated 12 case series from China with 6-2143 children infected with SARS-CoV‑2, which were identified by a literature search in PubMed up to 31 March 2020. The database of the German nationwide DGPI COVID-19 survey was accessed on 6 April 2020.

Results: The median patient age in the case series was between 2 and 7 years and 18-45% were infants <1 year of age. The duration of hospital stay was 5-20 days. Most commonly reported symptoms were fever and cough; in 40-100% of cases involvement of the lower respiratory tract was reported, usually confirmed by computed tomography (CT). Severe and critical courses of disease were reported in up to 8% of the children including 2 fatalities. So far the German DGPI COVID-19 survey reported 33 hospitalized children up to 6 April 2020, mostly with upper airway infections. Of these children, 45% were infants and 32% had an underlying medical condition. So far 3 children (9%) needed admission to an intensive care unit.

Conclusion: COVID-19 in hospitalized children usually presented as an uncomplicated febrile upper airway infection or mild pneumonia. Severe cases or fatalities rarely occurred in children. Information on neonates and children with underlying chronic conditions as well as on therapeutic and preventive measures are urgently needed.

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