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Incidence Rates of Medically Attended COVID-19 in Infants Less Than 6 Months of Age

Studies suggest infants may be at increased risk of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) relative to older children, but few data exist regarding the incidence of COVID-19 episodes and associated risk factors. We estimate incidence rates and describe characteristics associated with medically attended COVID-19 episodes among infants younger than 6 months of age. We analyzed electronic medical record data from a cohort of infants born March 1, 2020-February 28, 2021. Data from 3 health care delivery systems included demographic characteristics, maternal and infant outpatient visit and hospitalization diagnoses and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2) test results. Medically attended COVID-19 episodes were defined by positive SARS-CoV-2 clinical tests and/or COVID-19 diagnosis codes during medical care visits. Unadjusted and site-adjusted incidence rates by infant month of age, low and high SARS-CoV-2 circulation periods and maternal COVID-19 diagnosis were calculated. Among 18,192 infants <6 months of age whose mothers received prenatal care within the 3 systems, 173 (1.0%) had medically attended COVID-19 episodes. Incidence rates were highest among infants under 1 month of age (2.0 per 1000 person-weeks) and 1 month (2.0 per 1000 person-weeks) compared with older infants. Incidence rates were also higher for infants born to women with postpartum COVID-19 compared with women without known COVID-19 and women diagnosed with COVID-19 during pregnancy. Infants of women with postpartum COVID-19 had a higher risk of medically attended COVID-19 than infants born to mothers who were diagnosed during pregnancy or never diagnosed underscoring the importance of COVID-19 prevention measures for their household members and caregivers to prevent infections in infants.

Authors: Griffin, Isabel; Li, De-Kun; Munoz, Flor M; et al.

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2023 Apr 01;42(4):315-320. Epub 2023-01-05.

PubMed abstract

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