Are pediatric patients with epilepsy at higher risk for COVID-19 Retrospective analysis from Sidra Medicine, Doha-Qatar


Are pediatric patients with epilepsy at higher risk for COVID-19 Retrospective analysis from Sidra Medicine, Doha-Qatar


Sondos Altaraqji, Rana al-Shami*, Ahlam Ahmed, Azhar Alamri, Hanem Abdullah and Patrick Tang**

Pediatric neurology department*, pathology department** at Sidra medicine /Doha –Qatar.


The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), spread in few months from a small focus in Wuhan (Hubei province, China) to over 28 million people worldwide , COVID-19 is often more severe in people 60+yrs or with health conditions like lung ,heart disease, diabetes or conditions that affect their immune system (1). Several countries independently adopted strict containment measures to slow the local spread of SARS-CoV-2. As other countries, widespread lockdown measures were applied in Doha –Qatar from March 17 to June 1st 2020 that restricted physical contacts, individual movements including school attendance. This reflected during the beginning of the academic year 2020-2021 by parental fear to send their children with epilepsy back to their school considering that epilepsy could be a risk factor for covid19 infection.
The prevalence of epilepsy in children ranges from 3.2 to 5.5 per 1000, being highest in the first year of life, but matching adult rates by the end of the first decade (2). Epilepsy in children is the second greatest neurological disorder burden worldwide (3), often associated with cognitive and psychiatric comorbidities (4). These patients were not highly susceptible to COVID-19 during the pandemic, the estimate rate of infection among pediatric patient with epilepsy was around (0.4%) for those who became sick. Meanwhile Viral infection is a risk factor for seizures in children with certain developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEE) with fever sensitivity, such as Dravet Syndrome and SCN1A-related phenotypes. We aimed to assess if the COVID-19 infection affected children with epilepsy in a higher rate than other children.


Keywords: pediatric patients; epilepsy; COVID-19;  retrospective analysis

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How to cite this article:
Sondos Altaraqji, Rana al-Shami, Ahlam Ahmed, Azhar Alamri, Hanem Abdullah and Patrick Tang. Are pediatric patients with epilepsy at higher risk for COVID-19 Retrospective analysis from Sidra Medicine, Doha-Qatar .International Journal of Central Nervous System Disease, 2021, 2:7. DOI: 10.28933/ijcnsd-2021-05-0505


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