In 2019, an unknown disease called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) began to spread in China. The disease is now widespread in almost all countries and has endangered the lives of many people. For this reason, a systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted with the aim of assessing the clinical characteristics of the disease in children and adolescents with COVID-19.
Materials and Methods: This systematic review and meta-analysis have been conducted by reviewing most of the epidemiologic studies on the worldwide prevalence of COVID-19 in children and adolescents. The following international databases were used: EMBASE, Scopus, Web of Science, PubMed/Medline, Science Direct, and the Google Scholar Search Engine. The keywords used for searching included "child", "pediatric", "adolescents", "COVID-19", "Coronavirus", and "diagnosis”. The data were analyzed using STATA statistic software version 11.0.
Results: The total number of patients was 2579, of which 1467 (56.9%) were male and 1110 (43.1) were female.All patients were in their childhood and adolescence years. At the beginning of the research, 1356 studies were reviewed, of which 987 entered the next reviewing stage. Finally, 14 studies were selected for the systematic review and meta-analysis. The prevalence of fever in children and adolescents was 55.0% (95% CI 0.55 [0.40, 0.70]), of cough 41.0% (95% CI 0.41 [0.27, 0.56]), of nasal discharge 9.0% (95% CI 0.09 [0.05, 0.12]), and of diarrhea 5.0% (95% CI 0.05 [0.02, 0.08]).
The results of this study can be a guide for pediatricians and specialists in the field of infectious diseases to identify the clinical signs of COVID-19 in children and adolescents.