Background: Early reports suggest that most children infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (“SARS-CoV-2”) have mild symptoms. What is not known is whether children with chronic respiratory illnesses have exacerbations associated with SARS-CoV-2 virus. Methods: An expert panel created a survey, which was circulated twice (in April and May 2020) to members of the Paediatric Assembly of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) and via the social media of the ERS. The survey stratified patients by the following conditions: asthma, cystic fibrosis (CF), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and other respiratory conditions. Results: In total 174 centres responded to at least one survey. 80 centres reported no cases, whereas 94 entered data from 945 children with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 was isolated from 49 children with asthma of whom 29 required no treatment, 19 needed supplemental oxygen and four children required mechanical ventilation. Of the 14 children with CF and COVID-19, 10 required no treatment and four had only minor symptoms. Among the nine children with BPD and COVID-19, two required no treatment, five required inpatient care and oxygen and two were admitted to a paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) requiring invasive ventilation. Data were available from 33 children with other conditions and SARS-CoV-2 of whom 20 required supplemental oxygen and 11 needed noninvasive or invasive ventilation. Conclusions: Within the participating centres, in children with asthma and CF, infection with SARS-CoV2 was well tolerated, but a substantial minority of children with BPD and other conditions required ventilatory support indicating that these latter groups are at risk from SARS-CoV-2 infection.

doi.org/10.1183/23120541.00409-2020, hdl.handle.net/1765/134740
ERJ Open Research
Department of Epidemiology

Moeller, A, Thanikkel, L., Duijts, L, Gaillard, E.A., Garcia-Marcos, L, Kantar, A., … Pijnenburg, M.W.H. (2020). COVID-19 in children with underlying chronic respiratory diseases: survey results from 174 centres. ERJ Open Research, 6(4). doi:10.1183/23120541.00409-2020