HealthDay News — Most children with Zika virus (ZIKV) infection have fever, rash, and facial or neck erythema, according to a study published online May 29 in JAMA Pediatrics.
Jennifer S. Read, M.D., from the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, and colleagues described patients younger than 18 years who were infected with ZIKV and were enrolled in the Sentinel Enhanced Dengue and Acute Febrile Illness Surveillance System. Data were included for 351 children in Puerto Rico who had confirmed ZIKV infection: 25 infants, 69 children aged 1 to 4 years, 95 children aged 5 to 9 years, and 162 children aged 10 to 17 years.
The researchers found that 74.1 percent of the children presented for evaluation of ZIKV infection at fewer than three days after symptom onset; after evaluation, 96.9 percent of the children were discharged to home. Overall, 99.4 percent of children had fever, and 79.8, 69.2, 66.7, 63.5, 60.4, 58.7, and 58.1 percent had a rash, facial or neck erythema, fatigue, headache, chills, pruritis, and conjunctival hyperemia. The median viral load was higher in serum than in urine among children with serum and urine specimens collected on the same day. When a single serum sample was analyzed from each of 317 patients, median viral loads did not differ significantly according to age, sex, or disposition. The median serum viral load varied significantly according to the number of days after symptom onset, ranging from 106,778 copies/mL at zero days to 15,901 copies/mL at three or more days.
“This study represents the largest study to date of ZIKV infection in the pediatric population,” the authors write.