J Korean Med Sci.  2023 Jan;38(3):e21. 10.3346/jkms.2023.38.e21.

Pediatric Deaths Associated With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Korea

  • 1Data Analysis Team, Epidemiological Investigation and Analysis Task Force, Central Disease Control Headquarters, Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, Cheongju, Korea
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Korea University Anam Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Department of Pediatrics, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Busan, Korea
  • 5Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea


As of September 3, 2022, 5,388,338 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases and 46 deaths (3 in 2021 and 43 in 2022) were reported in children ≤ 18 years in Korea. Cumulative confirmed cases accounted for 67.3% of the population aged ≤ 18 years and case fatality rate was 0.85/100,000. Among 46 fatal cases, 58.7% were male and median age was 7 years. Underlying diseases were present in 47.8%; neurologic diseases (63.6%) and malignancy (13.6%) most common. Only four had history of COVID-19 immunization. COVID-19 associated deaths occurred at median 2 days from diagnosis (range: −1 to 21). Among COVID-19 deaths, 41.3% occurred before admission; 2 before hospital arrival and 17 in the emergency department. Among children whose cause was documented, myocarditis, respiratory and multiorgan failure were most common. COVID-19 associated death was seen early after diagnosis in children and public health policies to provide access to medical care for children with COVID-19 are essential during the pandemic.


SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Coronavirus; Children; Mortality; Death


  • Fig. 1 Incidence of pediatric coronavirus disease 2019 cases and mortality cases per epidemiologic week. Yellow shade indicates the period with delta variant and green shade indicates period of dominancy of the omicron variant.


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