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      Risk factors for disease severity among children with Covid-19: a clinical prediction model


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          Children account for a significant proportion of COVID-19 hospitalizations, but data on the predictors of disease severity in children are limited. We aimed to identify risk factors associated with moderate/severe COVID-19 and develop a nomogram for predicting children with moderate/severe COVID-19.


          We identified children ≤ 12 years old hospitalized for COVID-19 across five hospitals in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021 from the state’s pediatric COVID-19 case registration system. The primary outcome was the development of moderate/severe COVID-19 during hospitalization. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to identify independent risk factors for moderate/severe COVID-19. A nomogram was constructed to predict moderate/severe disease. The model performance was evaluated using the area under the curve (AUC), sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy.


          A total of 1,717 patients were included. After excluding the asymptomatic cases, 1,234 patients (1,023 mild cases and 211 moderate/severe cases) were used to develop the prediction model. Nine independent risk factors were identified, including the presence of at least one comorbidity, shortness of breath, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, seizures, temperature on arrival, chest recessions, and abnormal breath sounds. The nomogram’s sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and AUC for predicting moderate/severe COVID-19 were 58·1%, 80·5%, 76·8%, and 0·86 (95% CI, 0·79 – 0·92) respectively.


          Our nomogram, which incorporated readily available clinical parameters, would be useful to facilitate individualized clinical decisions.

          Supplementary Information

          The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s12879-023-08357-y.

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          Most cited references26

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          Epidemiological Characteristics of 2143 Pediatric Patients With 2019 Coronavirus Disease in China

          To identify the epidemiological characteristics and transmission patterns of pediatric patients with the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in China.
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            COVID-19 in children and adolescents in Europe: a multinational, multicentre cohort study

            Summary Background To date, few data on paediatric COVID-19 have been published, and most reports originate from China. This study aimed to capture key data on children and adolescents with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection across Europe to inform physicians and health-care service planning during the ongoing pandemic. Methods This multicentre cohort study involved 82 participating health-care institutions across 25 European countries, using a well established research network—the Paediatric Tuberculosis Network European Trials Group (ptbnet)—that mainly comprises paediatric infectious diseases specialists and paediatric pulmonologists. We included all individuals aged 18 years or younger with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, detected at any anatomical site by RT-PCR, between April 1 and April 24, 2020, during the initial peak of the European COVID-19 pandemic. We explored factors associated with need for intensive care unit (ICU) admission and initiation of drug treatment for COVID-19 using univariable analysis, and applied multivariable logistic regression with backwards stepwise analysis to further explore those factors significantly associated with ICU admission. Findings 582 individuals with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were included, with a median age of 5·0 years (IQR 0·5–12·0) and a sex ratio of 1·15 males per female. 145 (25%) had pre-existing medical conditions. 363 (62%) individuals were admitted to hospital. 48 (8%) individuals required ICU admission, 25 (4%) mechanical ventilation (median duration 7 days, IQR 2–11, range 1–34), 19 (3%) inotropic support, and one (<1%) extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Significant risk factors for requiring ICU admission in multivariable analyses were being younger than 1 month (odds ratio 5·06, 95% CI 1·72–14·87; p=0·0035), male sex (2·12, 1·06–4·21; p=0·033), pre-existing medical conditions (3·27, 1·67–6·42; p=0·0015), and presence of lower respiratory tract infection signs or symptoms at presentation (10·46, 5·16–21·23; p<0·0001). The most frequently used drug with antiviral activity was hydroxychloroquine (40 [7%] patients), followed by remdesivir (17 [3%] patients), lopinavir–ritonavir (six [1%] patients), and oseltamivir (three [1%] patients). Immunomodulatory medication used included corticosteroids (22 [4%] patients), intravenous immunoglobulin (seven [1%] patients), tocilizumab (four [1%] patients), anakinra (three [1%] patients), and siltuximab (one [<1%] patient). Four children died (case-fatality rate 0·69%, 95% CI 0·20–1·82); at study end, the remaining 578 were alive and only 25 (4%) were still symptomatic or requiring respiratory support. Interpretation COVID-19 is generally a mild disease in children, including infants. However, a small proportion develop severe disease requiring ICU admission and prolonged ventilation, although fatal outcome is overall rare. The data also reflect the current uncertainties regarding specific treatment options, highlighting that additional data on antiviral and immunomodulatory drugs are urgently needed. Funding ptbnet is supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit.
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              Clinical and epidemiological features of 36 children with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Zhejiang, China: an observational cohort study

              Summary Background Since December, 2019, an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread globally. Little is known about the epidemiological and clinical features of paediatric patients with COVID-19. Methods We retrospectively retrieved data for paediatric patients (aged 0–16 years) with confirmed COVID-19 from electronic medical records in three hospitals in Zhejiang, China. We recorded patients' epidemiological and clinical features. Findings From Jan 17 to March 1, 2020, 36 children (mean age 8·3 [SD 3·5] years) were identified to be infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The route of transmission was by close contact with family members (32 [89%]) or a history of exposure to the epidemic area (12 [33%]); eight (22%) patients had both exposures. 19 (53%) patients had moderate clinical type with pneumonia; 17 (47%) had mild clinical type and either were asymptomatic (ten [28%]) or had acute upper respiratory symptoms (seven [19%]). Common symptoms on admission were fever (13 [36%]) and dry cough (seven [19%]). Of those with fever, four (11%) had a body temperature of 38·5°C or higher, and nine (25%) had a body temperature of 37·5–38·5°C. Typical abnormal laboratory findings were elevated creatine kinase MB (11 [31%]), decreased lymphocytes (11 [31%]), leucopenia (seven [19%]), and elevated procalcitonin (six [17%]). Besides radiographic presentations, variables that were associated significantly with severity of COVID-19 were decreased lymphocytes, elevated body temperature, and high levels of procalcitonin, D-dimer, and creatine kinase MB. All children received interferon alfa by aerosolisation twice a day, 14 (39%) received lopinavir–ritonavir syrup twice a day, and six (17%) needed oxygen inhalation. Mean time in hospital was 14 (SD 3) days. By Feb 28, 2020, all patients were cured. Interpretation Although all paediatric patients in our cohort had mild or moderate type of COVID-19, the large proportion of asymptomatic children indicates the difficulty in identifying paediatric patients who do not have clear epidemiological information, leading to a dangerous situation in community-acquired infections. Funding Ningbo Clinical Research Center for Children's Health and Diseases, Ningbo Reproductive Medicine Centre, and Key Scientific and Technological Innovation Projects of Wenzhou.

                Author and article information

                BMC Infect Dis
                BMC Infect Dis
                BMC Infectious Diseases
                BioMed Central (London )
                12 June 2023
                12 June 2023
                : 23
                : 398
                [1 ]GRID grid.500245.6, Hospital Tuanku Ja’afar, Negeri Sembilan, Ministry of Health, ; Jalan Rasah, 70300 Seremban, Malaysia
                [2 ]GRID grid.415759.b, ISNI 0000 0001 0690 5255, Hospital Tuanku Ampuan Najihah, Negeri Sembilan, Ministry of Health, ; Jalan Melang, 72000 Kuala Pilah, Malaysia
                [3 ]GRID grid.261834.a, ISNI 0000 0004 1776 6926, Perdana University Seremban Clinical Academic Center, Negeri Sembilan, ; Jalan Rasah, 70300 Seremban, Malaysia
                [4 ]GRID grid.415759.b, ISNI 0000 0001 0690 5255, Negeri Sembilan State Health Department, Negeri Sembilan, Ministry of Health, ; Jalan Rasah, 70300 Seremban, Malaysia
                [5 ]GRID grid.265727.3, ISNI 0000 0001 0417 0814, Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation, , University Malaysia Sabah, Jalan UMS, ; 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
                [6 ]GRID grid.415759.b, ISNI 0000 0001 0690 5255, Clinical Research Centre Hospital Pulau Pinang, , Ministry of Health, ; Jalan Residensi, 10450, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
                © The Author(s) 2023

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

                : 12 October 2022
                : 30 May 2023
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                © BioMed Central Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2023

                Infectious disease & Microbiology
                covid-19,pediatric,nomogram,predictor severity
                Infectious disease & Microbiology
                covid-19, pediatric, nomogram, predictor severity


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