Isolated rhinorrhea in the presentation of SARS-CoV-2 infection among preschool- versus school-aged children

This article was originally published here

Paediatr Child Health. 2022 May 5;27(Suppl 1):S22-S26. doi: 10.1093/pch/pxab105. eCollection 2022 Jun.


OBJECTIVES: Rapid identification and isolation of SARS-CoV-2 cases are priorities in school and child care settings to prevent further outbreaks. The objective of this study was to compare the clinical presentation of SARS-CoV-2 infections among preschool (<5 years) versus school-aged (≥5 years) children diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection, and, specifically, the probability of presenting with an isolated symptom, such rhinorrhea or sore throat.

METHODS: Retrospective study of children (≤18 years of age) diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 in the outpatient COVID-19 clinic or the Emergency Department at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) February through May 2020.

RESULTS: Of 3,789 children tested, 105 (3%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2, and 104 included in the analysis (n=49 age <5 years and n=55 age ≥5 years). While fever was the most common presenting symptom across both age groups, in the absence of fever, the presence of a combination of two or more symptoms identified the majority (92%) of cases. Isolated single symptom presentations were uncommon (<5% of cases). Most importantly, not a single child in either age group presented with isolated rhinorrhea or sore throat.

CONCLUSIONS: While there are differences in the clinical manifestations of COVID-19 in preschool- versus school-aged children, in both age groups, isolated rhinorrhea was not a manifestation of SARS-CoV-2 infection. These results could help further guide testing criteria and exclusion criteria in child care and school settings.

PMID:35620556 | PMC:PMC9126269 | DOI:10.1093/pch/pxab105