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Eur J Pediatr ; 182(4): 1897-1909, 2023 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2276543


Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a rare but severe disease temporarily related to SARS-CoV-2. We aimed to describe the epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory findings of all MIS-C cases diagnosed in children < 18 years old in Catalonia (Spain) to study their trend throughout the pandemic. This was a multicenter ambispective observational cohort study (April 2020-April 2022). Data were obtained from the COVID-19 Catalan surveillance system and from all hospitals in Catalonia. We analyzed MIS-C cases regarding SARS-CoV-2 variants for demographics, symptoms, severity, monthly MIS-C incidence, ratio between MIS-C and accumulated COVID-19 cases, and associated rate ratios (RR). Among 555,848 SARS-CoV-2 infections, 152 children were diagnosed with MIS-C. The monthly MIS-C incidence was 4.1 (95% CI: 3.4-4.8) per 1,000,000 people, and 273 (95% CI: 230-316) per 1,000,000 SARS-CoV-2 infections (i.e., one case per 3,700 SARS-CoV-2 infections). During the Omicron period, the MIS-C RR was 8.2 (95% CI: 5.7-11.7) per 1,000,000 SARS-CoV-2 infections, which was significantly lower (p < 0.001) than that for previous variant periods in all age groups. The median [IQR] age of MIS-C was 8 [4-11] years, 62.5% male, and 80.2% without comorbidities. Common symptoms were gastrointestinal findings (88.2%) and fever > 39 °C (81.6%); nearly 40% had an abnormal echocardiography, and 7% had coronary aneurysm. Clinical manifestations and laboratory data were not different throughout the variant periods (p > 0.05).  Conclusion: The RR between MIS-C cases and SARS-CoV-2 infections was significantly lower in the Omicron period for all age groups, including those not vaccinated, suggesting that the variant could be the main factor for this shift in the MISC trend. Regardless of variant type, the patients had similar phenotypes and severity throughout the pandemic. What is Known: • Before our study, only two publications investigated the incidence of MIS-C regarding SARS-CoV-2 variants in Europe, one from Southeast England and another from Denmark. What is New: • To our knowledge, this is the first study investigating MIS-C incidence in Southern Europe, with the ability to recruit all MIS-C cases in a determined area and analyze the rate ratio for MIS-C among SARS-CoV-2 infections throughout variant periods. • We found a lower rate ratio of MISC/infections with SARS-CoV-2 in the Omicron period for all age groups, including those not eligible for vaccination, suggesting that the variant could be the main factor for this shift in the MISC trend.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Male , Humans , Female , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Spain/epidemiology , Cohort Studies
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(6): e1261-e1269, 2021 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1413797


BACKGROUND: The role of children in household transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) remains unclear. We describe the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of children with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Catalonia, Spain, and investigate the household transmission dynamics. METHODS: A prospective, observational, multicenter study was performed during summer and school periods (1 July 2020-31 October 2020) to analyze epidemiological and clinical features and viral household transmission dynamics in COVID-19 patients aged <16 years. A pediatric index case was established when a child was the first individual infected. Secondary cases were defined when another household member tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 before the child. The secondary attack rate (SAR) was calculated, and logistic regression was used to assess associations between transmission risk factors and SARS-CoV-2 infection. RESULTS: The study included 1040 COVID-19 patients. Almost half (47.2%) were asymptomatic, 10.8% had comorbidities, and 2.6% required hospitalization. No deaths were reported. Viral transmission was common among household members (62.3%). More than 70% (756/1040) of pediatric cases were secondary to an adult, whereas 7.7% (80/1040) were index cases. The SAR was significantly lower in households with COVID-19 pediatric index cases during the school period relative to summer (P = .02) and compared to adults (P = .006). No individual or environmental risk factors associated with the SAR. CONCLUSIONS: Children are unlikely to cause household COVID-19 clusters or be major drivers of the pandemic, even if attending school. Interventions aimed at children are expected to have a small impact on reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Child , Family Characteristics , Humans , Pandemics , Prospective Studies
Eur J Pediatr ; 180(7): 2099-2106, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1092067


Fever without source (FWS) in infants is a frequent cause of consultation at the emergency department, and the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 could affect the approach to those infants. The aim of this study is to define the clinical characteristics and rates of bacterial coinfections of infants < 90 days with FWS as the first manifestation of SARS-CoV-2 infection. This is a cross-sectional study of infants under 90 days of age with FWS and positive SARS-CoV2 PCR in nasopharyngeal swab/aspirate, attended at the emergency departments of 49 Spanish hospitals (EPICO-AEP cohort) from March 1 to June 26, 2020. Three hundred and thirty-three children with COVID-19 were included in EPICO-AEP. A total of 67/336 (20%) were infants less than 90 days old, and 27/67(40%) presented with FWS. Blood cultures were performed in 24/27(89%) and were negative in all but one (4%) who presented a Streptococcus mitis bacteremia. Urine culture was performed in 26/27(97%) children and was negative in all, except in two (7%) patients. Lumbar puncture was performed in 6/27(22%) cases, with no growth of bacteria. Two children had bacterial coinfections: 1 had UTI and bacteremia, and 1 had UTI. C-reactive was protein over 20 mg/L in two children (one with bacterial coinfection), and procalcitonin was normal in all. One child was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit because of apnea episodes. No patients died.Conclusion: FWS was frequent in infants under 90 days of age with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Standardized markers to rule out bacterial infections remain useful in this population, and the outcome is generally good. What is Known: • Fever without source (FWS) in infants is a common cause of consultation at the emergency department, and young infants have a higher risk of serious bacterial infections (SBI). • The emergence of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 could affect the approach to young infants with FWS in the emergency department. management of those children is a challenge because information about bacterial coinfection and prognosis is scarce. What is New: • SARS-CoV-2 infection should be ruled out in young infants (< 90 days of age) with FWS in areas with community transmission. • Bacterial coinfection rarely coexists in those infants. • Inflammatory markers were not increased in children without bacterial coinfection. • Outcome is good in most patients.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Fever/epidemiology , Fever/etiology , Humans , Infant , RNA, Viral