Data reported on Wednesday continue to support a milder clinical course for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in children and a more severe course in elders.
In the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers report outcomes in some 170 children in Wuhan, China, who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case. Roughly 16% had neither symptoms nor radiologic evidence of pneumonia. Three patients with underlying conditions required intensive care; one of these patients, a 10-month-old with intussusception, died after 4 weeks. At last check, 12% of the patients were hospitalized but in stable condition, and the remainder had been discharged.
And in MMWR, an analysis of some 4200 U.S. cases reported through mid-March finds that adults aged 65 and older accounted for 31% of the cases — but for 45% of related hospitalizations, 53% of ICU admissions, and 80% of deaths. Meanwhile, there were no ICU admissions or deaths among those aged 19 and younger.
In other COVID-19 news:
- Reported cases in the U.S. have passed 7300, with at least 115 deaths.
- President Donald Trump announced that he is invoking the Defense Production Act to expand the supply of ventilators, respirators, and personal protective gear, among other items. He also announced that the U.S.–Canada border will close temporarily to nonessential traffic.
- In the New York Times, experts rebuff the French health minister’s warning that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs exacerbate COVID-19 symptoms. The article notes that some patients experience serious adverse effects while taking NSAIDs. However, a pharmacologist said, “Until there’s evidence, there’s no reason at all to be issuing public health guidance.”
- The CDC has published new guidance for disinfecting one’s home if someone is sick. Available at the sixth link below, it could be a good resource for your patients (and a good reminder for clinicians).
NEJM is also offering three new perspectives on COVID-19 — one about quarantine laws, one about rationing care in Italy, and one about physicians’ responsibility to both the community and their families. Have a look at the NEJM COVID-19 page, linked below.
original article: jwatch