Main Article Content
Human coronaviruses (HCoVs) commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses but can lead to more severe and diffusive diseases. A variety of signs and symptoms may be present, and infections can range in severity from common cold and sore throat to more serious laryngeal or tracheal infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Among the seven coronaviruses that affect humans, (SARS)-CoV, the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV and the most recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) represent potential life-threatening diseases worldwide. In adults they may cause severe pneumonia that evolve in distress respiratory syndrome and multiorgan failure with a high mortality rate. Children appear to be less susceptible to develop severe clinical disease and present usually with mild and aspecific symptoms similar to other respiratory infections typical of childhood. However, some children such as infants, adolescents or those with underlying diseases may be more at-risk categories and require greater caution from clinicians. Available data on pediatric coronavirus infections are rare and scattered in the literature. The purpose of this review is to provide to clinicians a complete and updated panel useful to recognize and characterize the broad spectrum of clinical manifestations of coronavirus infections in the pediatric age.