We collected clinical data of children aged younger than 13 years with laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 presenting to Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town between 17th of April and 24th of July 2020.
Hundred and fifty-nine children (median age 48·0 months (interquartile range, IQR 12·0-106·0)) were included. Hospitalized children (n=62), median age of 13·5 months (IQR 1·8-43·5) were younger than children not admitted (n=97), median age 81·0 months (IQR 34·5-120·5, p< 0·01). Thirty-three of 159 (20·8%) children had pre-existing medical conditions. Fifty-one of 62 (82·3%) hospitalized children were symptomatic; lower respiratory tract infection was diagnosed in 21/51 (41·2%) and 11/16 (68·8%) children younger than 3 months of age. Respiratory support was required in 25/51 (49·0%) children; 13/25 (52·0%) children were younger than 3 months. One child was HIV infected and 11/51 (21·2%) were HIV exposed uninfected and 7/51 (13·7%) children had a recent or new diagnosis of tuberculosis.
Children less than 1 year of age hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 in Cape Town frequently required respiratory support, the access to oxygen may be limited in some LMICs which could potentially drive morbidity and mortality. HIV infection was uncommon but a relationship between HIV exposure, tuberculosis and SARS-CoV-2 should be explored.
© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.