COVID-19 vs. Influenza in Children

Bernice D. Mowery, PhD, RN


Pediatr Nurs. 2021;47(1):47,51 

In This Article

Comparison of the Characteristics, Morbidity, and Mortality of COVID-19 and Seasonal Influenza: A Nationwide, Population-based Retrospective Cohort Study

(Piroth et al., 2020)

Piroth and colleagues (2020) used the French national administrative database to compare COVID-19 (March 1-April 30, 2020) with influenza (December 1, 2018-February 28, 2019) for all hospital admissions in France. Children younger than age 18 years were analyzed separately from adults and were stratified by age. Of the 1227 children hospitalized with COVID-19 compared with 8942 with influenza, intensive care admission rates and mortality were significantly higher for the COVID-19 group. Patients in the 11–17 years category with COVID-19 had a 10 times greater mortality rate than those with influenza and were also more likely to be obese (12 of 458 vs. 4 of 804, p < 0.0001) or overweight (16 vs. 9, p = 0.0036), but less likely to have diabetes (7 vs. 33, p = 0.012) or chronic respiratory disease (3 vs. 17, p = 0.046). Piroth and colleagues (2020) concluded that COVID-19 is more severe than influenza in children, with an in-patient mortality four times higher than for influenza.