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Pediatr Neurol . Mild Neurological Manifestations Associated With Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Infection in Hospitalized Children During the Omicron Wave in Singapore: A Retrospective Cohort Review

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  • Pediatr Neurol . Mild Neurological Manifestations Associated With Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Infection in Hospitalized Children During the Omicron Wave in Singapore: A Retrospective Cohort Review

    Pediatr Neurol


    . 2023 Oct 27:150:57-62.
    doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2023.10.015. Online ahead of print. Mild Neurological Manifestations Associated With Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Infection in Hospitalized Children During the Omicron Wave in Singapore: A Retrospective Cohort Review

    Velda X Han 1 , Shannon M Seet 2 , Belinda X Y Quek 3 , Jeremy B Lin 1 , Furene S Wang 1 , Stacey K H Tay 1 , Olivia Leow 3 , Rie Aoyama 3 , Si Min Chan 4



    AffiliationsAbstract

    Background: Neurological complications with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) omicron variant have been reported in adults; however, there are little data in the pediatric population. We aimed to report on the prevalence and clinical characteristics of children with neurological symptoms during the SARS-CoV-2 omicron wave.
    Methods: This was a single-center, retrospective cohort review of children (<18 years old) hospitalized for SARS-CoV-2 infection from December 2, 2021, to June 30, 2022.
    Results: During the study period, 455 children (mean age 4.8 years, range 0.67 to 18, male 58.9%) were hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 infection. A total of 108 (23.7%) children experienced neurological symptoms; most common were seizures (62.0%), headaches (32.4%) and giddiness (14.8%). Seizures included febrile seizures (64.1%), acute symptomatic seizures (17.9%), and breakthrough seizures in known epileptics (17.9%). Children with neurological manifestations were older (7.3 vs 4.0 years, P < 0.00001), more likely to have underlying epilepsy (9.3% vs 1.2%, P = 0.0002) or neurodevelopmental disorders (17.6% vs 1.7%, P < 0.00001), and presented earlier in their illness (2.1 vs 2.8 days, P < 0.00001), compared with those without neurological manifestations. Neurological symptoms fully resolved in all but one patient at discharge. There were no mortalities and no difference in duration of hospitalization (3.1 vs 3.7 days, P = 0.5) between the groups.
    Conclusions: One in four hospitalized children with SARS-CoV-2 infection when omicron variant was dominant experienced mild neurological symptoms. Overall risk factors for neurological symptoms associated with SARS-CoV-2 included older age, pre-existing febrile seizures/epilepsy and neurodevelopmental disorders.

    Keywords: COVID-19; Child; Epilepsy; Prevalence; Seizure.

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