Coronavirus disease 2019 in children.Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2021 10 01; 34(5):500-509.CO
PURPOSE OF REVIEW
Over the course of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it has become clear that the clinical features, epidemiology, and outcomes of COVID-19 are distinct in children relative to adults. In this review, we will present recent pediatric studies informing our current understanding of COVID-19 in children, and review pediatric considerations surrounding disease transmission, currently available therapies, and vaccination.
Recent studies have shed light on the clinical epidemiology of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in children, identifying a high prevalence of asymptomatic and mild infections, with severe COVID-19 infrequently reported. Several adult clinical trials have informed the use of remdesivir, anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies, dexamethasone, and tocilizumab in the management of COVID-19. Associations between underlying comorbid medical conditions and severe outcomes, as well as transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 in children, are complex and warrant further study. Finally, highly efficacious vaccines are available for adults and adolescents, with pediatric trials ongoing.
Children generally fare well with acute COVID-19 infection, though critical illness is possible. Future research should focus on clarifying the role of children in SARS-CoV-2 transmission and optimal prevention strategies, particularly in the school setting, as well as evaluating pediatric vaccine candidates.