Omar Yassef Antúnez-Montes, Maria Isabel Escamilla, Augusto Flavio Figueroa-Uribe, Erick Arteaga-Menchaca, Manuel Lavariega-Saráchaga, Perla Salcedo-Lozada, Priscilla Melchior, Rodrigo Beréa de Oliveira, Juan Carlos Tirado Caballero, Hernando Pinzon Redondo, Laura Vanessa Montes Fontalvo, Roger Hernandez, Carolina Chavez, Francisco Campos, Fadia Uribe, Olguita Del Aguila, Jorge Alberto Rios Aida, Andrea Parra Buitrago, Lina Maria Betancur Londoño, León Felipe Mendoza Vega, Carolina Almeida Hernández, Michela Sali, Julian Esteban Higuita Palacio, Jessica Gomez-Vargas, Adriana Yock-Corrales, Danilo Buonsenso,
<h4>Background</h4>To date, there are no comprehensive data on pediatric COVID-19 from Latin America. This study aims to assess COVID-19 and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) in Latin American children, to appropriately plan and allocate resources to face the pandemic on a local and international level.<h4>Methods</h4>Ambispective multicenter cohort study from 5 Latin American countries. Children 18 years of age or younger with microbiologically confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection or fulfilling MIS-C definition were included.<h4>Findings</h4>Four hundred nine children were included, with a median age of 3.0 years (interquartile range 0.6-9.0). Of these, 95 (23.2%) were diagnosed with MIS-C. One hundred ninety-one (46.7%) children were admitted to hospital and 52 (12.7%) required admission to a pediatric intensive care unit. Ninety-two (22.5%) patients required oxygen support: 8 (2%) were started on continuous positive airway pressure and 29 (7%) on mechanical ventilation. Thirty-five (8.5%) patients required inotropic support. The following factors were associated with pediatric intensive care unit admission: preexisting medical condition (P < 0.0001), immunodeficiency (P = 0.01), lower respiratory tract infection (P < 0.0001), gastrointestinal symptoms (P = 0.006), radiologic changes suggestive of pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (P < 0.0001) and low socioeconomic conditions (P = 0.009).<h4>Conclusions</h4>This study shows a generally more severe form of COVID-19 and a high number of MIS-C in Latin American children, compared with studies from China, Europe and North America, and support current evidence of a more severe disease in Latin/Hispanic children or in people of lower socioeconomic level. The findings highlight an urgent need for more data on COVID-19 in Latin America.
Pediatr Infect Dis J (The Pediatric infectious disease journal)
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