Children and adolescents are at lower risk of disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. We describe the incidence of confirmed infection and hospitalisation of children and adolescents under the age of 20 in Norway, and specifically among those with underlying conditions.
The Norwegian Directorate of Health has collaborated with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health on the establishment of a data extraction system to monitor the coronavirus outbreak. Data from the specialist health service (Norwegian Patient Registry, NPR), and the primary health service (Norwegian Registry for Primary Health Care, NRPHC) are linked to data on positive SARS-CoV-2 tests from the Surveillance System for Communicable Diseases (MSIS). This covers all persons living in Norway as of 1 March 2020, with data on confirmed infection up to and including 13 May 2020 and on hospitalisations up to and including 30 April 2020.
Of 8 125 persons with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 in the whole population, 493 (6.1 %) were under 20 years old. The median age of the under-20s was 15 years, and 252 (51 %) were girls. 3 % were hospitalised. No deaths were registered among patients aged under 20 in Norway. We found a somewhat larger share with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 in the group with diseases of the neuromuscular system.
Few children and adolescents have had SARS-CoV-2 confirmed, and only a very few have been hospitalised. Underlying conditions may result in a lower threshold for testing, and hence a higher incidence of confirmed infection in this group, although higher risk cannot be excluded.