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Background: Globally, there has been a destruction of human lives, economies and health systems by the novel corona virus pandemic. Presently there is no known certain cure, although a number of vaccines have been proposed to prevent the corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) which was first seen as increasing number of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China, with severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as the causative organism.
Objectives: To screen paediatric patients for COVID-19 at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and to know their pattern of presentation.
Materials and Methods: Descriptive cross-sectional study, not controlled, over a period of six weeks, using interviewer administered structured questionnaire which was adapted and used at the Accident and Emergency Department for patients triaging as a COVID-19 Risk assessment tool. No action was required for a score of 0-7, while admission into COVID-19 holding area following review by IDU was recommended for a score 8 ≥17. All children brought into the department, requiring treatment were screened.
Results: There were 131 patients, 74 (56.5%) males and 56 (42.7%) females, with a mean age 7.2 ± 5.41 years. Male: Female ratio was 1.3:1. Four children (3%) had a total score of ≥ 8, while half of them (n=2; 50%) tested positive for COVID-19, giving a disease prevalence of 1.5%. Both cases were females; fever and difficulty in breathing were the commonest symptoms. No mortality was recorded.
Conclusions: COVID-19 prevalence is low in children, and they have a good outcome. A community-based study is recommended.
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