COVID-19 in children aged 0-15 years seen at Amirou Boubacar Diallo National Hospital in Niamey, Niger, 2020-2021

1,2Idé Amadou, H., 3Mahamadou Yacouba, M., 2,4Dodo, B., 5Boua Togola, O., 2,4Aboubacar, S., 6Ousmane, A., 2,4Garba, M., and 2Mainassara, S.

1Medical and Health Research Center (CERMES), BP: 10887, Niamey, Niger

2Amirou Boubacar Diallo National Hospital (HNABD), BP: 10146, Niamey, Niger

3Direction of Surveillance and Response to Epidemics (DSRE), BP: 623, Niamey, Niger

4Faculty of Health Sciences, Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey, BP: 10146, Niamey, Niger 5General Direction of Health and Public Hygiene, BP: 233, Bamako, Mali 6Faculty of Health Sciences, Dan Dicko Dan Koulodo University of Maradi, Niger *Correspondence to:; Tel: 00 227 91 12 50 30/ 98 34 36 68

Background: In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic affected all age groups. Although COVID-19 is generally benign in children, a diagnostic problem may arise due to clinical similarities with certain pathologies such as malaria, dengue fever and influenza. The objective of this study is to describe the epidemiological profile of COVID 19 in children seen at consultation and to determine the prevalence of influenza, malaria and dengue fever as differential diagnoses.

Methodology: We conducted a prospective cohort analytical study from October 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021 in COVID-19 suspected children aged 0 to 15 years admitted to the pediatrics department at the hospital. We used EPI INFO 7.2.4. software for data entry and analysis. Frequencies and proportions were calculated.

Results: A total of 570 suspected cases of COVID-19 were enrolled. Of the suspected cases, 53.2% were males and 46.9% were females, with a M/F ratio of 1.13. The median age was 2 years (IQR: 1- 3 years), with age range of 0 to 15 years, and 68,8% in the age range 1 to 5 years. Exposure factors were travel (3.7%), contact with a suspected case of COVID-19 (1.0%), while only 2.6 % (15/570) of suspected cases were confirmed positive for COVID-19. The median age of COVID-19 confirmed children was 2.7 years (IQR 0.33-5). There were more male positive cases, with a M/F ratio of 2. Fever (100%) and cough (53.3%) were the predominant symptoms. The prevalence of malaria, Dengue fever and influenza among suspected COVID-19 cases were 16.8%, 0% and 54.7% respectively, while the respective prevalence in COVID-19 confirmed cases were 66.7%, 0% and 33.3% Conclusion: COVID-19 should be investigated in children presenting with symptoms and signs of malaria, influenza or Dengue fever.

Keywords: COVID-19, malaria, Dengue, flu, children, Niger

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COVID-19 in children aged 0-15 years seen at Amirou Boubacar Diallo National Hospital in Niamey, Niger, 2020-2021