Australia’s active hospital-based surveillance for severe childhood disease


Principal investigator

Associate Professor Nigel Crawford

The PAEDS network is conducting surveillance of COVID-19 to support the national public health response to the pandemic and is well-placed to prospectively identify children presenting to our hospitals with COVID-19 infection.​

A novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in late 2019 is a new strain of coronavirus that has caused an evolving pandemic. The disease caused by this virus has been named Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) by the World Health Organization (WHO).

COVID-19 was initially observed in Wuhan to cause severe pneumonia in adults. Cases have since been identified in many countries, including Australia. Patients with COVID-19 may present with fever, cough, rhinorrhoea and fatigue, with pneumonia and severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) occurring in more severe infections. There is still much to learn about COVID-19 in children. Evidence to date shows only a small fraction of confirmed COVID-19 cases are children, and children appear to have relatively low incidence of symptomatic infections and milder disease than adults.1

PAEDS has successfully partnered with FluCAN since 2014 to collect valuable influenza data in hospitalised children. This partnership has expanded to collect enhanced clinical data on all children presenting to our PAEDS sites with COVID-19 to understand the incidence and severity of children requiring hospitalisation for this disease.

PAEDS will also be collaborating with other networks, both nationally and internationally, to ensure any increase in severe COVID-19 related outcomes in children are rapidly detected and comprehensively investigated.


Click on the tile below to view the latest paediatric COVID-19 case data