COVID-19 in kids tied to more complications than flu

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Compared to the flu, kids with a COVID-19 infection face a higher risk for hospitalization and pneumonia, among other complications, according to a study published May 28 in Pediatrics

Researchers compared 30-day outcomes of 242,158 children aged 18 and younger diagnosed with COVID-19, to those of 2,084,180 children who had the flu between 2017-18. The international study included data from the U.S., France, Germany, Spain and South Korea. 

Four percent of the COVID-19 cohort were hospitalized. Overall, asthma was the most common comorbidity among the group, with about 28 percent of U.S. patients with the condition. 

In most databases, hospitalizations were higher among COVID-19 patients. For example, in one of the U.S. databases, the hospitalization rate for COVID-19 patients was 33.2 percent compared to 7.4 percent among those with the flu. 

Researchers also compared the 30-day outcomes for death, pneumonia and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. 

"Overall, all outcomes were more frequent in children/adolescents with COVID-19 diagnosis than those with a diagnosis of seasonal influenza in 2018, suggesting more severe disease prognosis in children with COVID-19 than influenza," the study said. 


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