Unpacking the Objectives
The recent systematic review aims to shed light on how SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) affect children and adolescents. It addresses five critical questions: symptoms and severity, risk factors for severe disease, the risk of infection, the risk of transmission, and long-term consequences following a VOC infection.
Given the ongoing pandemic and the emergence of new variants, this review is timely and crucial for healthcare providers, policymakers, and parents alike.
The Source Article Details
SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern in children and adolescents with COVID-19: a systematic review by Margarethe Wiedenmann et al. in 2023.
The Source Article's Abstract
Infections by SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) might affect children and adolescents differently than earlier viral lineages. The study aimed to address five questions about SARS-CoV-2 VOC infections in children and adolescents: symptoms and severity, risk factors for severe disease, the risk of infection, the risk of transmission, and long-term consequences following a VOC infection.
Most children with any VOC infection presented with mild disease, with more severe disease being described with the Delta or the Gamma VOC. Diabetes and obesity were reported as risk factors for severe disease.
Overall patterns of SARS-CoV-2 VOC infections in children and adolescents are similar to those of earlier lineages.
The Source Article References
- Anarchist Technologies: anarchism, cybernetics and mutual aid in community responses to the COVID-19 crisis” by Swann, 2023 in Organization (Lond)
- Addressing vaccine inequity - COVID-19 vaccines as a global public good by Hunter, 2022 in N Engl J Med
- Questionnaire to assess relevance and credibility of modeling studies for informing health care decision making: an ISPOR-AMCP-NPC good practice task force report by Jaime Caro, 2014 in Value in Health
- Household transmission and Symptomology of severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 alpha variant among children-California and Colorado, 2021 by Waltenburg, 2022 in J Pediatr
- Comparison of UK Paediatric SARS-Cov-2 admissions across the first and second pandemic waves by Swann, 2023 in Pediatr Res
- Unvaccinated children are an important link in the transmission of SARS-Cov-2 Delta variant (B1.617.2): comparative clinical evidence from a recent community surge by Li, 2022 in Front Cell Infect Microbiol
- Analysis of clinical characteristics of 66 pediatric patients with B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant of COVID-19 by Hao, 2022 in World J Pediatr
- Severity of illness in persons infected with the SARS-Cov-2 Delta variant vs beta variant in Qatar by Butt, 2022 in JAMA Intern Med
- COVID-19 disease severity in children infected with the Omicron variant by Butt, 2022 in Clin Infect Dis
- Effectiveness of 2-dose bnt162b2 (pfizer biontech) mrna vaccine in preventing SARS-cov-2 infection among children aged 5–11 years and adolescents aged 12–15 years — protect cohort, july 2021–february 2022 by Fowlkes, 2021 in MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
- Comparison of the first and second waves of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in children and adolescents in a middle-income country: clinical impact associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2) gamma lineage by Oliveira, 2022 in J Pediatr
- Hospitalizations of children and adolescents with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 - COVID-NET, 14 States by Marks, 2021 in MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
- Trends in disease severity and health care utilization during the early Omicron variant period compared with previous SARS-Cov-2 high transmission periods - United States by Iuliano, 2020 in MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
- Hospitalizations of children aged 5-11 years with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 - COVID-NET, 14 States by Shi, 2020 in MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
- Hospitalization of infants and children aged 0-4 years with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 - COVID-NET, 14 States by Marks, 2020 in MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
- Community transmission and viral load Kinetics of the SARS-Cov-2 Delta (B.1.617.2) variant in vaccinated and Unvaccinated individuals in the UK: a prospective, longitudinal, cohort study by Singanayagam, 2022 in Lancet Infect Dis
- A SARS-Cov-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant outbreak in a primary school in Geneva, Switzerland by Lorthe, 2022 in Lancet Infect Dis
- Increased Transmissibility of the alpha SARS-Cov-2 variant: evidence from contact tracing data in Oslo by Lindstrøm, 2022 in Infectious Diseases
- Household transmission of SARS-Cov-2: A prospective longitudinal study showing higher viral load and increased Transmissibility of the alpha variant compared to previous strains by Julin, 2021 in Microorganisms
- Facemask usage among people with primary Ciliary dyskinesia during the COVID-19 pandemic: A Participatory project by Pedersen, 2021 in Int J Public Health
Citing the Source Article (APA)
Wiedenmann, M., Ipekci, A.M., Araujo-Chaveron, L., Prajapati, N., Lam, Y.T., Alam, M.I., L'Huillier, A.G., Zhelyazkov, I., Heron, L., Low, N., Goutaki, M. (2023). SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern in children and adolescents with COVID-19: a systematic review. BMJ Open, 13(10), e072280-e072280. 10.1136/bmjopen-2023-072280
Key Findings: Not All Variants Are Created Equal
The review found that most children with any VOC infection presented with mild disease. However, more severe disease was associated with the Delta and Gamma VOCs. Diabetes and obesity were highlighted as risk factors for severe disease.
These findings are significant as they can guide clinical decisions and public health policies, especially in pediatric settings.
Implications for the Medical Profession
- Enhanced screening and monitoring for children with risk factors like diabetes and obesity.
- Revised guidelines for pediatric COVID-19 management, considering the VOCs.
- Increased public health messaging targeting parents and caregivers.
FAQs: What You Need to Know
Do children experience severe symptoms with VOCs?
Most children experience mild symptoms, but severity can vary depending on the variant and presence of risk factors like diabetes and obesity.
Is there a higher risk of transmission among children?
The review suggests that the risk of transmission in daycare settings was higher for younger than older children or partially vaccinated adults.
PP-ICONS: A Quick Evaluation
- Problem: Impact of SARS-CoV-2 VOCs on children and adolescents.
- Patient or Population: Children and adolescents ≤18 years old.
- Intervention: Observational studies on VOCs.
- Comparison: Earlier viral lineages.
- Outcome: Symptoms, severity, and risk factors.
- Number of Subjects: Data from 53 articles were included.
- Statistics: Descriptive synthesis, risk of bias assessed at the outcome level.
What do you think about these findings? How will they impact your practice or research? Feel free to leave a comment below.