Importance: The novel coronavirus 2019 (SARS-CoV-2) has been well described in adults. Further, the impact on older children and during the perinatal time is becoming better studied. As community spread increases, it is important to recognize that neonates are vulnerable to community spread as well. The impact that community-acquired SARS-CoV-2 has in the neonatal time period is unclear, as this population has unique immunity considerations.
Objective: To report on a case series of SARS-CoV-2 in neonates through community acquisition in the USA.
Design: This is an early retrospective study of patients admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) identified as having SAR-CoV-2 through positive real-time polymerase chain reaction assay of nasopharyngeal swabs.
Findings: Three patients who required admission to the NICU between the ages of 17 and 33 days old were identified. All 3 had ill contacts in the home or had been to the pediatrician and presented with mild to moderate symptoms including fever, rhinorrhea, and hypoxia, requiring supplemental oxygen during their hospital stay. One patient was admitted with neutropenia, and the other 2 patients became neutropenic during hospitalization. None of the patients had meningitis or multiorgan failure.
Conclusions and relevance: Infants with community-acquired SARS-CoV-2 may require hospitalization due to rule-out sepsis guidelines if found to have fever and/or hypoxia. Caregivers of neonates should exercise recommended guidelines before contact with neonates to limit community spread of SARS-CoV-2 to this potentially vulnerable population, including isolation, particularly as asymptomatic cases become prevalent.