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Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal:
doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000000325
Original Studies

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Disease in Children

Memish, Ziad A. MD, FRCP*; Al-Tawfiq, Jaffar A MD; Assiri, Abdullah MD; AlRabiah, Fahad A. MD§; Al Hajjar, Sami MD§; Albarrak, Ali MD§; Flemban, Hesham MD; Alhakeem, Rafat F. MD; Makhdoom, Hatem Q. PhD**; Alsubaie, Sarah MD††; Al-Rabeeah, Abdullah A. MD, FRCS‡‡

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Background: In the initial description of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, many affected patients were adults with underlying medical comorbidities. Data on the clinical presentation and outcome of pediatric cases are lacking. We report the clinical presentation and outcome of MERS-CoV infection in 11 pediatric patients.

Methods: The clinical presentation, demographic and laboratory data of pediatric patients with MERS-CoV were analyzed.

Results: A total of 11 pediatric cases that tested positive by screening and confirmatory polymerase chain reaction for MERS-CoV were reported from Saudi Arabia. Two patients were symptomatic and the other 9 cases were asymptomatic. The median age of patients was 13 (range 2–16) years. There were 8 females and 3 males (2.7:1 ratio). One symptomatic patient died and the other symptomatic patient recovered. The diagnosis of patients was based on positive nasopharyngeal swabs on 10 patients.

Conclusions: MERS-CoV disease is not limited to adults. Most cases of childhood MERS-CoV infection were asymptomatic and tested positive during contact investigation of older patients. Severe disease can occur in children with underlying conditions.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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