February 6, 2023

What is the Incidence of COVID-19-Associated Febrile Seizures in Children? 

Article published by News Medical

In a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, researchers investigated the incidence of febrile seizures (FS) among severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-positive children.

FS refers to a neurological condition disorder commonly observed among children between six months and five years, wherein a febrile patient develops convulsions without intracranial infections. Febrile seizures have been reported in patients with COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), especially after the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant emerged.

In the present study, researchers determined the incidence of febrile seizures among SARS-CoV-2-positive children.

The study included children aged below five years with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections residing in the Jeonbuk province of Korea between January 2020 and June 2022. Data were provided by the ministry of security and public administration. In addition, data were obtained on SARS-CoV-2-positive children who developed FS from five hospitals that provided treatment for FS treatment.

Out of 62,722 children residing in Jeonbuk who were aged below five years, 53% (n=33,457) were infected with SARS-CoV-2, of which 1.0% (n=476) children required hospital admission, and 0.2% (n=64) developed febrile seizures. Among children with FS, 44 were male (69%), and 20 were female (31%). The mean age of the participants developing febrile seizures was 37 months.

All FS patients developed symptoms post-SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant emergence. In the pre-Omicron COVID-19 period, 23% of COVID-19 patients (89 patients out of 381 patients) required hospital admissions. Nevertheless, none of the SARS-CoV-2-positive children were admitted for febrile seizures. Further, 39% (n=25) of patients presented with complex febrile seizures, whereas a single child developed febrile status epilepticus.

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