COVID-19 vs. Influenza in Children

Bernice D. Mowery, PhD, RN

Disclosures

Pediatr Nurs. 2021;47(1):47,51 

In This Article

Comparison of Clinical Features of Covid-19 vs. Seasonal Influenza a and B in U.S. Children

(Song et al., 2020)

Song and colleagues (2020) compared clinical features between COVID-19 (n = 315, March 25-May 15, 2020) and influenza (n = 1402, October 1, 2019-June 6, 2020) at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC. Both groups had slightly more males, and the COVID-19 group was older, median age 8.9 years (0.03–35.6) than the influenza group, median age 3.9 years (0.04–40.4, p < 0.001). The COVID-19 and influenza groups were comparable in hospitalization rates (54 [17%] vs. 29 [21%], p = 0.15), intensive care unit admission rates (18 [6%] vs. 98 [7%], p = 0.42), and use of mechanical ventilation (10 [3%] vs. 27 [2%], p = 0.17). Ventilatory support duration was longer for COVID-19 but was not statistically significant (10.1 vs. 7 days, p = 0.06). There were no significant differences between hospitalized patients for symptoms of cough (24 [48%] vs. 90 [31%], p = 0.05) and shortness of breath (16 [30%] vs 59 [20%], p = 0.13). Hospitalized COVID-19 patients had significantly higher underlying health conditions, primarily neurological, and more frequently reported fever (76%), vomiting or diarrhea, headache, myalgia, and chest pain. No deaths were reported in the COVID-19 group, and four deaths occurred in the influenza group. Power was insufficient to assess obesity and other potential risk factors.

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