Low burden on pediatric health care in Stockholm due to COVID-19 infections
We can now conclude that the COVID-19 related morbidity among children during the two most intense months of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in Stockholm was low, despite the strategy to keep preschools and primary schools open.
A total of 63 children tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 while admitted to one of the pediatric hospitals in Stockholm during the period from 13th March to 14th May. Almost half of the children had COVID-19 as their primary diagnosis, of which all recovered without any complications. Fourteen children presented with other conditions where the SARS-CoV-2 infection may have contributed to the child's need for hospital care while 19 children were admitted due to non-infectious reasons and were found to be positive in routine testing.
A handful of children required oxygen therapy and one child with an underlying condition required a short period of intensive care. One child with complex underlying disease died after arriving at the hospital with cardiac arrest. The child subsequently tested positive for SARS-CoV 2 but the relevance for the outcome is unclear since other pathogens were also identified in post-mortem testing.
Overall, pediatric COVID-19 patients accounted for only 0.7% of all COVID-19 admissions in the region. Two children with possible SARS-CoV-2 related hyper-inflammation were successfully treated during the period. However, it is yet too early to assess whether the national strategy with open schools has affected the incidence of this condition and this will need to be evaluated continually.