Brief Report

COVID-19 in children: Clinical presentation and hospital course at a district hospital in South Africa

Mareli Nieuwoudt, Natasha L. O'Connell, Marieke M. van der Zalm, Andrew W. Redfern, Helena Rabie
Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases | Vol 39, No 1 | a580 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajid.v39i1.580 | © 2024 Mareli Nieuwoudt, Natasha L. O’Connell, Marieke M. van der Zalm, Andrew W. Redfern, Helena Rabie | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 September 2023 | Published: 08 July 2024

About the author(s)

Mareli Nieuwoudt, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Natasha L. O'Connell, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa; and Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Khayelitsha Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa
Marieke M. van der Zalm, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Andrew W. Redfern, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Helena Rabie, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

Limited data exist on South African children hospitalised with COVID-19 in district hospitals. We describe the presentation and outcomes of children admitted to a level 1 and 2 hospital and compare this with children admitted to a level 2 and 3 hospital.

Contribution: This study highlights that young age is an important risk factor for hospitalisation with severe COVID-19. Infants with HIV exposure and prematurity are disproportionately represented among admissions. Furthermore, we notice a high number of children with current or new tuberculosis confirming the interplay between viral infections and childhood tuberculosis.


Keywords

COVID-19; infant; child; Africa; LMICs

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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