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Special Populations

Last Updated: July 17, 2020

To date, the vast majority of the data generated about the epidemiology, clinical course, prevention, and treatment of COVID-19 have come from studies of nonpregnant adults. More information is urgently needed for other populations, such as pediatric patients, pregnant patients, transplant patients, and other immunocompromised patients with COVID-19.

Children with COVID-19 may have less severe disease overall when compared to adults, but the recently described multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) requires further study. Data are also emerging on the clinical course of COVID-19 in pregnant patients, pregnancy outcomes in the setting of COVID-19, and vertical transmission of severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2, but further research is needed. There are special considerations for transplant recipients, cancer patients, and patients with other immunocompromising conditions (e.g., rheumatologic conditions, inflammatory bowel disease), as they may be at increased risk of serious complications and death as a result of COVID-19.

The following sections review and synthesize the available data for some of these populations and discuss the specific considerations that clinicians should take into account when caring for these patients.