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Mild Fever, Little Respiratory Illness Seen With COVID-19-Positive Infants

Of 18 COVID-19-positive infants less than 90 days old, none required intensive care

TUESDAY, June 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Babies with COVID-19 generally have mild illness, with mostly fever, according to a brief report published online June 17 in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Leena B. Mithal, M.D., from Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues reported on a single-center U.S. case series of 18 infants <90 days old who tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.

The researchers found that the COVID-19-positive infants ranged in age from 10 to 88 days, 39 percent were male, and none had significant past medical history. Three of the infants were tested as outpatients, while 15 were tested in the emergency department. Most of the infants had a mild febrile illness (77.8 percent) without significant pulmonary disease. Half were hospitalized, with none requiring intensive care. One infant had bacterial urinary tract coinfection, but of the five tested for other respiratory viruses, no viral co-infection was identified. Nasopharyngeal viral loads were notably high. Latinx ethnicity was overrepresented among the positive infants.

“For young infants being evaluated because of fever, COVID-19 may be an important cause, particularly in a region with widespread community activity,” the authors write.

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