Frontiers of Medicine

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 126–130 | Cite as

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus in pediatrics: a report of seven cases from Saudi Arabia

  • Sarah H. Alfaraj
  • Jaffar A. Al-Tawfiq
  • Talal A. Altuwaijri
  • Ziad A. MemishEmail author
Case Report


Infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) emerged in 2012 as an important respiratory disease with high fatality rates of 40%–60%. Despite the increased number of cases over subsequent years, the number of pediatric cases remained low. A review of studies conducted from June 2012 to April 19, 2016 reported 31 pediatric MERS-CoV cases. In this paper, we present the clinical and laboratory features of seven patients with pediatric MERS. Five patients had no underlying medical illnesses, and three patients were asymptomatic. Of the seven cases, four (57%) patients sought medical advice within 1–7 days from the onset of symptoms. The three other patients (43%) were asymptomatic and were in contact with patients with confirmed diagnosis of MERS-CoV. The most common presenting symptoms were fever (57%), cough (14%), shortness of breath (14%), vomiting (28%), and diarrhea (28%). Two (28.6%) patients had platelet counts of < 150 × 109/L, and one patient had an underlying end-stage renal disease. The remaining patients presented with normal blood count, liver function, and urea and creatinine levels. The documented MERS-CoV Ct values were 32–38 for four of the seven cases. Two patients (28.6%) had abnormal chest radiographic findings of bilateral infiltration. One patient (14.3%) required ventilator support, and two patients (28.6%) required oxygen supplementation. All the seven patients were discharged without complications.


Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus MERS-CoV pregnancy pediatrics 


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah H. Alfaraj
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jaffar A. Al-Tawfiq
    • 3
    • 4
  • Talal A. Altuwaijri
    • 5
  • Ziad A. Memish
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    Email author
  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Corona Center, Infectious Diseases Division, Department of Pediatric, Prince Mohamed Bin Abdulaziz HospitalMinistry of HealthRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.Indiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  4. 4.Johns Hopkins Aramco HealthcareDhahranSaudi Arabia
  5. 5.Department of SurgeryKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  6. 6.College of MedicineAlfaisal UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  7. 7.Infectious Diseases Division, Department of Medicine, Prince Mohamed Bin Abdulaziz HospitalMinistry of HealthRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  8. 8.Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public HealthEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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