Thanks to Greg Folkers for sending the link to this report in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, which includes Ziad A. Memish and former Health Minister Abdullah Al-Rabiah among the authors: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Disease in Children. The abstract:
Background: Since the initial description of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, the majority of affected patients were adults with underlying medical comorbidities. Data on the clinical presentation and outcome of pediatric cases are lacking. We report the clinical presentation and outcome of MERS-CoV infection in nine pediatric patients.
Methods: The clinical presentation, demographic data and laboratory data of pediatric patients with MERS-CoV were extracted and analyzed.
Findings: A total of 11 pediatric cases that tested positive by screening and confirmatory PCR for MERS-CoV were reported from Saudi Arabia. Two patients were symptomatic and the other 9 cases were asymptomatic. The median age of patients was 13 (range 2-16) years. There were eight females and three males (2.7:1 ratio). One symptomatic patient died and the other symptomatic patient recovered. The diagnosis of patients was based on positive nasopharyngeal swabs on the majority of the patients.
Interpretation: MERS-CoV disease is not limited to adults. Most cases of childhood MERS-CoV infection was asymptomatic and tested positive during contact investigation of older patients. Severe disease can occur in children with underlying conditions.