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*

Disclosures

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

In This Article

Transmission

In contrast to the high rate of secondary transmission from adult patients in the absence of infection control measures, transmission of SARS from pediatric SARS patients appears to be uncommon.[29] In 1 report, 8 children attended school while they were symptomatic but did not transmit infection to any of their classmates.[12] In addition, a serologic study of parents who had close contact with their SARS-positive children showed no evidence of virus transmission to the parents.[30] However, there is one published report of SARS transmission from an 11-year-old child to 3 adults and 1 other child.[31] This 11-year-old index patient was not hospitalized or diagnosed with SARS until 14 days after onset of illness characterized by fever, cough and malaise. During this time, the child had substantial close contact with other household members who cared for the child, and no specific infection control measures were used. The large amount of time spent in the household while symptomatic, the high frequency of contact with household members and the lack of infection control practices while in the home likely contributed to the transmission of SARS from this patient.[31] This cluster illustrates that, although it is uncommon, the possibility of SARS transmission from children should not be ignored, and infection control practices for pediatric patients should be similar to adult SARS patients (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/sars/guidance/I/index.htm).

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