COVID in Kids: The Most Telling Symptoms

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay reporter

MONDAY November 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Among thousands of children tested for COVID-19, upset stomach, loss of taste / smell, fever and headache were the most common symptoms predictive of positive test results, according to a Canadian study.

But a third of children and adolescents with the coronavirus had no symptoms, the researchers noted.

“Since more than a third of pediatric patients who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection have no symptoms, it is difficult to identify children who may be infected. Indeed, the proportion of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections in children is probably much higher than what we have reported, given the likelihood that many would not show up for testing, ”said Dr Finlay. McAlister, University of Alberta in Edmonton, and co-authors.

Cough and runny nose were also common in children who tested positive, but investigators said these same complaints were common in children who tested negative and could not be considered telltale signs of a COVID-19 infection. .

“Many other flu-like symptoms (such as cough, [runny nose] and sore throat) were also common, or more common, in children who tested negative for SARS-CoV-2, “and therefore had limited predictive value for the detection of COVID-19 in children,” reported writes the authors in the Nov. 24 issue of CMAJ (Journal of the Canadian Medical Association).

The results suggest that “administrators of screening questionnaires for schools or daycares may consider re-evaluating the symptoms they screen to include only those that are most strongly associated with positive swab results for infection with the disease. SARS-CoV-2, ”the researchers reported.

For the study, they assessed the symptoms of more than 2,400 children in the province of Alberta, Canada, who were tested for the coronavirus between April 13 and September 30, 2020.

The loss of smell / taste was seven times higher in children with COVID-19; stomach aches were five times more likely and headaches were twice as likely, according to investigators. Fever was 68% more likely in children with a positive test result.

In children with loss of smell / taste associated with headaches and stomach aches, the odds of a positive test were 65 times higher than those of children and adolescents without this set of symptoms, according to the study.

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