• Ocular Symptoms and Outcomes in Children With COVID-19

    Written By: Lynda Seminara
    Selected and Reviewed By: Neil M. Bressler, MD, and Deputy Editors

    Journal Highlights

    JAMA Ophthalmology, October 2020

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    Little is known about the symptoms and clinical course of COVID-19 in pediatric patients. In a study at Wuhan Children’s Hospital, Ma et al. evaluated children with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. They found that cough and systemic clinical symptoms were com­monly linked to conjunctival discharge and eye rubbing. The ocular issues resolved or improved over time.

    The study included 216 hospitalized children (mean age, 7.25 years; range, 2.6-11.6 years). Main outcome measures were the onset and duration of clinical symptoms (including ocular signs) and the need for medication. Among symptomatic children, the most com­mon symptoms were fever (37.5%) and cough (36.6%). No systemic or respiratory symptom was observed in 43.1% of the study population. Recovery occurred in all children whose symptoms were mild (46.8%) or moderate (53.2%).

    Ocular symptoms were noted in 49 children (22.7%) and were the first signs of COVID in nine. The most common ocular issues were conjunc­tival discharge (55.1%), eye rubbing (38.8%), and conjunctival congestion (10.2%), and they were more likely to occur in children with cough or sys­temic symptoms.

    Management of the 49 patients with ocular symptoms included observa­tion without treatment or eyedrops. Forty-one of these patients recovered fully; the other eight had persistent eye rubbing. The median duration of ocular symptoms was seven days.

    The original article can be found here.