Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in Children

Lauren J. Stockman, MPH*†; Mehran S. Massoudi, PhD, MPH*; Rita Helfand, MD*; Dean Erdman, DrPH*; Alison M. Siwek, MPH*†; Larry J. Anderson, MD*; Umesh D. Parashar, MD, MPH*


Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2007;26(1):68-74. 

In This Article

Distinguishing Pediatric SARS From Other Respiratory Tract Infections

Although clinical and laboratory manifestations of pediatric SARS are nonspecific, certain features can help distinguish SARS from other respiratory tract illnesses. A comparison of 15 pediatric patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS and 15 age- and sex-matched patients with culture-confirmed influenza in Taiwan showed that the rates of fever, cough and constitutional symptoms such as chills and myalgia were similar between the 2 groups. However, patients with SARS had significantly less rhinorrhea [7% versus 93%; odds ratio (OR), 0.01; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.00-0.09], less sputum production (7% versus 53%; OR 0.10; 95% CI 0.02-0.63), and less sore throat (20% versus 60%; OR 0.17; 95% CI 0.03-0.85) than patients with influenza. Conversely patients with SARS were more likely than those with influenza to demonstrate chest radiographic abnormalities (93% versus 38%; OR 22.4; 95% CI 2.2-227).[13] In another comparison of 16 patients with serologically confirmed SARS and 32 age-matched patients with community-acquired pneumonia of other causes, an increased level of serum lactate dehydrogenase in the presence of a low neutrophil count and low serum creatine phosphokinase was suggestive of SARS-CoV infection.[19] Additional studies are needed.


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