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Ital J Pediatr ; 48(1): 155, 2022 Aug 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2021318


BACKGROUND: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has been challenging health care systems and made it necessary to use rapid and cost-effective testing methods, particularly in Emergency Department (ED) settings. Rapid Antigen Diagnostic Tests (RADTs) are a valid alternative to the gold standard RT-PCR, even in pediatric populations. This retrospective observational study has been conducted on a pediatric cohort afferent to the ED of the San Giovanni di Dio and Ruggi d'Aragona University Hospital in Salerno, tested at Point of Care with RADT Panbio® (Abbott), from September 1st, 2021 to February 28th, 2022, analyzing the positivity rate and clinical features of the cohort, also in reference to the rise of positive cases observed in the aforementioned period, and to the introduction in Italy of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination for children and teens on December 16th, 2021. METHODS: Data regarding access to the pediatric ED were extracted from the hospital's electronic database system. Parallel to this, we conducted a narrative literature search using PubMed database focusing on the use of RADT in pediatric ED and compared our data with the national pandemic trend. RESULTS: During the observation period, 1890 patients were tested for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 with RADT and the 2.7% of children resulted positive, with a peak in January 2022. The main symptoms in positive patients were: fever (n = 34; 66.7%), cough (n = 11; 21.5%), headache (n = 4; 7.8%), chest pain (n = 2; 3.9%) and abdominal pain (n = 1; 2%). Patients were divided into three different age groups (A, B, C) basing on the different access timing to vaccination; no statistically significant difference was detected in the distribution of positivity in these three groups (p > 0.05). Number of positive children in group A was greater in the post-vaccine group. Our data are concordant with the national trend of the pandemic showing a fourth wave peak in January 2022. CONCLUSION: The use of RADT as a first point-of-care screening may be helpful, time-saving and cost-sparing. Our study shows that, during the observation period, most children admitted to the ED for fever, actually tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 with a statistically greater difference than negative children. Instead, number of patients admitted for cough was statistically higher among negative than positive ones, probably due to the circulation of other respiratory viruses in children.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , COVID-19 Vaccines , Child , Cough , Emergency Service, Hospital , Fever , Humans