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Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms1 2 and positive stool severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) detection3 have been reported in COVID-19 infected patients. However, these studies mainly focused on the adult population, and it is still not known whether children with COVID-19 have similar GI involvement.
We here report the clinical characteristics of 244 consecutive COVID-19 positive children from Wuhan, during the period 21 January to 20 March 2020. All were confirmed to have SARS-CoV-2 by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on nasopharyngeal swabs. We specifically compared the differences between patients with and without GI symptoms (having at least one of the following: diarrhoea; nausea and vomiting; abdominal pain; and decreased feeding). In our cohort, 34 of 244 (13.9%) presented with GI symptoms on admission. These patients were much younger (14 vs 86 months; p<0.05), and more than half were under 3 years old.
For the clinical and laboratory parameters, patients with GI symptoms were more likely to have fever on admission (70.6% vs 35.7%, p<0.05) (table 1). No other significant differences were found between the two groups, including respiratory symptoms, the duration of …
X-lX, KK-yW and S-qC are joint first authors.
Twitter @hk_kennethwong, @email@example.com
Correction notice This article has been corrected since it published Online First. The author affiliations 1, 3, 4, 5 and 9 have been amended.
Contributors Acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data: X-lX, KW, S-qC, A-fZ, J-qT and L-sZ; drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content: KW, PH-yC, GC, KT, IW, CC, XL, MY-wK, G-qC, KL, WH-sW, MH-kH and GC-fC; final approval of the version published and agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work: PI, PC, S-tT and PT.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval This study was approved by the Research Ethics Board of Wuhan Children's Hospital (WHCH2020022).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.