Parental Coronavirus Disease 2019 Testing of Hospitalized Children: Rethinking Infection Control in a Pandemic.J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2020 Nov 10; 9(5):564-565.JP
Novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) poses a challenge to infection control within hospital systems. Asymptomatic children and their caretakers carry the risk of silently spreading infection in pediatric emergency departments and hospital units. Our current knowledge is evolving, and infection control measures are frequently changing depending on new emerging data.
We conducted a point-prevalence study to assess SARS-CoV-2 Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR) results of hospitalized children, their asymptomatic caretakers, and caretaker-child test concordance at a major community hospital in New York City. We screened Children and caretakers with temperature measurements and the presence of COVID-19 symptoms before pediatric emergency department evaluation. Children requiring hospitalization and their caretakers had nasopharyngeal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR. The paired results are used to identify the infection control level at the appropriate pediatric unit.
Forty consecutive asymptomatic caretaker-child pairs had SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR testing between May 28th to June 22nd, 2020. The rate of asymptomatic COVID-19 was 2.5% in hospitalized children and 7.5% in caretakers. The caretaker-child SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test concordance was evident in 95% of the cohort.
This cohort had a low asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 PCR positive rate in children and their caretakers with a high concordance rate of paired test results. It suggests that children's SARS-CoV-2 PCR test result will likely correspond to their accompanying caretaker at healthcare facilities where admission screening is performed.