How SARS-CoV-2 Is Presenting in Infants

A new case series report highlights the unique circumstances of infant illness associated with COVID-19.

A new cases series report published in JAMA Network Open provided a look into what Canadian investigators believe is the first series of SARS-CoV-2 infected infants in their country.

The findings from the University of Sainte-Justine Center Hospital in Montreal describe infant patients presenting with mainly fever, mild disease, and no need for mechanical ventilation or intensive care treatment.

These results suggest that no additional SARS-CoV-2–related investigations may be necessary for the majority of infants.

This new data also show that signs and disease severity among observed infants differ from those reported in children and older adults. Infant patients had a predominance of gastrointestinal tract symptoms, even in the absence of fever, and mild disease overall.

In an interview with Contagion, study author Fatima Kakkar, MD, MPH, discussed the current understanding of SARS-CoV-2 infection in infants, as well as the limited rate of available data on such a patient group up until their research.

“When we first started, we came in with the premise that babies are going to be very sick,” Kakkar said. “We set up our COVID-19 wards that way. While we did have babies admitted, and we did see babies in our clinic with COVID, it was remarkable because they did very well.”