Why it is so important to protect children from COVID-19

Updated: Mar 21, 2020

BY KIM VUGA FOLLOW: https://twitter.com/LoveAusOrLeave

MARCH 21, 2020

As cases of the Coronavirus spreads across the globe many parents have been relieved of reports from medical professions believing that children have been spared and that COVID-19 infects children, but less severely than adults.

However, according to a newly published study in Pediatrics, it is the preschool aged children and babies who run the risk of more serious infections given that the younger they are the less their immune system has developed as compared to older children.

In addition, the NEJM study, researchers used data from the China CDC to assess symptomatic and asymptomatic children who had contact with people with confirmed or possible infection at Wuhan's only designated COVID-19 pediatric hospital.

Of the 1,391 children tested from Jan 28 to Feb 26, 171 (12.3%) had confirmed infection, and 1 (0.6%) died of the disease. Median age of infected children was 6.7 years.

Many (41.5%) had fever, and cough and throat redness were also common. Twenty-seven (15.8%) had no symptoms or signs of pneumonia on x-ray, while 12 (7.0%) had signs on x-ray but no symptoms, for an asymptomatic rate of 22.8%. "Determination of the transmission potential of these asymptomatic patients is important for guiding the development of measures to control the ongoing pandemic," the authors wrote.