Prolonged SARS-CoV-2 shedding in the respiratory tract and feces of children

Prolonged SARS-CoV-2  shedding in the respiratory tract and feces of children. Heneghan C

Published on July 30, 2020

Reference Cai J, Xu J, Lin D, et al. A Case Series of children with 2019 novel coronavirus infection: clinical and epidemiological features Clin Infect Dis. 2020;ciaa198. doi:10.1093/cid/ciaa198
Study type
Country China
Setting Children's Hospital
Funding Details This study was supported by the grant from the National Science and Technology Major Project of China during the "13th Five-Year" Plan Period
Transmission mode Orofecal

Bottom Line

Prolonged virus shedding is observed in the respiratory tract and feces of children at the convalescent stage.

Evidence Summary

None of the ten patients had diarrhoea or dyspnea during the course of illness. 2019-nCoV RNA was detected in nasopharyngeal and throat swabs from all patients within 4-48 hours after symptom onset.  Six patients had fecal samples tested within 3-13 days after illness onset and 5 (83%) showed positivity

What did they do?

Between 19 January and 3 February 2020, a total of ten children with confirmed 2019-nCoV infection were admitted to the Children’s Hospital in Shanghai, Hainan. A duplex one-step real-time RT-PCR was performed to confirm infection at the local CDC reference laboratory. 

A cycle threshold value less than 35 was defined as a positive test.

Study reliability

Clearly defined setting Demographic characteristics described Follow-up length was sufficient Transmission outcomes assessed Main biases are taken into consideration
Yes Yes Yes Yes No

What else should I consider?

About the authors

Carl Heneghan

Carl is Professor of EBM & Director of CEBM at the University of Oxford. He is also a GP and tweets @carlheneghan. He has an active interest in discovering the truth behind health research findings