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Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21266875


To guide evidence-based prevention of COVID-19 in children, we estimated risks of severe outcomes in 820,404 symptomatic paediatric cases reported by 10 EU Member States between August 2020 and October 2021. Case and hospitalisation rates rose as overall transmission increased but severe outcomes were rare: 9,611 (1.2%) were hospitalised, 640 (0.08%) required intensive care and 84 (0.01%) died. Despite increased individual risk (aOR; 95% CI for hospitalisation: 7.3; 3.3 - 16.2, ICU: 8.7; 6.2 - 12.3) in cases with comorbidities such as cancer, diabetes, cardiac or lung disease, most (83.7%) hospitalised children had no reported comorbidity.

Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20227264


Decisions on school closures and on safe schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic should be evidence-based. We conducted a systematic literature review to assess child-to-child and child-to-adult SARS-CoV-2 transmission and to characterise the potential role of school closures on community transmission. 1337 peer-reviewed articles published through August 31, 2020 were screened; 22 were included in this review. The literature appraised provides sufficient evidence that children can both be infected by and transmit SARS-CoV-2 in community, household and school settings. Transmission by children was most frequently documented in household settings, while examples of children as index cases in school settings were rare. Included studies suggested that school closures may help to reduce SARS- CoV-2 transmission, but the societal, economic, and educational impacts of prolonged school closures must be considered. In-school mitigation measures, alongside continuous surveillance and assessment of emerging evidence, will promote the protection and educational attainment of students and support the educational workforce.