Characteristic of COVID-19 infection in pediatric patients: early findings from two Italian Pediatric Research Networks: European Journal of Pediatrics

N. Parri, A.M. Magistà, F. Marchetti, B. Cantoni, A. Arrighini, M. Romanengo, E. Felici, A. Urbino, L. Da Dalt, L. Verdoni, B. Armocida, B. Covi, I. Mariani, R. Giacchero, A.M. Musolino, M. Binotti, P. Biban, S. Fasoli, C. Pilotto, F. NicolosoM. Raggi, E. Miorin, D. Buonsenso, M. Chiossi, R. Agostiniani, A. Plebani, M.A. Barbieri, M. Lanari, S. Arrigo, E. Zoia, M. Lenge, S. Masi, E. Barbi, M. Lazzerini, on behalf of the CONFIDENCE and COVID-19 Italian Pediatric Study Networks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Detailed data on clinical presentations and outcomes of children with COVID-19 in Europe are still lacking. In this descriptive study, we report on 130 children with confirmed COVID-19 diagnosed by 28 centers (mostly hospitals), in 10 regions in Italy, during the first months of the pandemic. Among these, 67 (51.5%) had a relative with COVID-19 while 34 (26.2%) had comorbidities, with the most frequent being respiratory, cardiac, or neuromuscular chronic diseases. Overall, 98 (75.4%) had an asymptomatic or mild disease, 11 (8.5%) had moderate disease, 11 (8.5%) had a severe disease, and 9 (6.9%) had a critical presentation with infants below 6 months having significantly increased risk of critical disease severity (OR 5.6, 95% CI 1.3 to 29.1). Seventy-five (57.7%) children were hospitalized, 15 (11.5%) needed some respiratory support, and nine (6.9%) were treated in an intensive care unit. All recovered. Conclusion:This descriptive case series of children with COVID-19, mostly encompassing of cases enrolled at hospital level, suggest that COVID-19 may have a non-negligible rate of severe presentations in selected pediatric populations with a relatively high rates of comorbidities. More studies are needed to further understand the presentation and outcomes of children with COVID-19 in children with special needs.What is Known:• There is limited evidence on the clinical presentation and outcomes of children with COVID-19 in Europe, and almost no evidence on characteristics and risk factors of severe cases.What is New:• Among a case series of 130 children, mostly diagnosed at hospital level, and with a relatively high rate (26.2%) of comorbidities, about three-quarter had an asymptomatic or mild disease.• However, 57.7% were hospitalized, 11.5% needed some respiratory support, and 6.9% were treated in an intensive care unit. © 2020, The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1315-1323
Number of pages9
JournalEur. J. Pediatr.
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • COVID-19
  • Italy
  • alanine aminotransferase
  • aspartate aminotransferase
  • adolescent
  • Article
  • artificial ventilation
  • assisted ventilation
  • asymptomatic infection
  • case study
  • child
  • child hospitalization
  • chronic disease
  • clinical feature
  • clinical outcome
  • cohort analysis
  • comorbidity
  • coronavirus disease 2019
  • coughing
  • diarrhea
  • disease severity
  • early diagnosis
  • febrile convulsion
  • female
  • fever
  • heart disease
  • high risk infant
  • human
  • infant
  • intensive care unit
  • leg pain
  • leukopenia
  • lymphocytopenia
  • major clinical study
  • male
  • multicenter study
  • neuromuscular disease
  • newborn
  • noninvasive ventilation
  • oxygen therapy
  • pandemic
  • pathological crying
  • pediatric patient
  • preschool child
  • priority journal
  • real time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction
  • respiratory distress
  • respiratory tract disease
  • retrospective study
  • rhinorrhea
  • risk factor
  • somnolence
  • sore throat
  • thorax pain
  • thorax radiography
  • vomiting
  • Betacoronavirus
  • Coronavirus infection
  • isolation and purification
  • laboratory technique
  • procedures
  • respiratory care
  • treatment outcome
  • virus pneumonia
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronavirus Infections
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


Dive into the research topics of 'Characteristic of COVID-19 infection in pediatric patients: early findings from two Italian Pediatric Research Networks: European Journal of Pediatrics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this