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What one study from China tells us about COVID-19 and children – Harvard Health Blog


As we attempt to predict what is going to occur right here within the US with COVID-19, it’s pure to have a look at the expertise in China, the place the epidemic started. In a research revealed within the journal Pediatrics, we study how the pandemic affected kids.

What this research tells us

The research checked out details about 2,143 kids with COVID-19 infections that have been reported to China’s Facilities for Illness Management from January 16 to February eight of this 12 months. Of the infections, a couple of third have been confirmed with a laboratory take a look at for COVID-19. The others have been identified primarily based on signs and the outcomes of different checks, reminiscent of x-rays.

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The very best information on this research is that 90% of the youngsters had sickness that was asymptomatic, delicate, or average — versus extreme or essential. Whereas 4.4% have been reported as asymptomatic, on condition that solely a 3rd had laboratory testing, it’s very probably that the precise variety of asymptomatic infections in kids throughout that point interval was increased. Just one youngster died.

In adults, it seems that extra like 80% have delicate to average infections. We don’t know why kids seem to have milder illness general. It’s probably a mix of things associated to physique chemistry, immune operate, and even social components reminiscent of how kids are cared for and spend their days. However regardless of the purpose, it’s excellent news.

What else is necessary to know

Nonetheless, there is part of the research we have to take note of: youthful kids are at increased danger of working into hassle. Amongst kids lower than a 12 months previous, 10.6% had extreme or essential illness. For youngsters ages 1 to five, that quantity was nonetheless excessive at 7.3%. It dropped to 4.2% for 6-to-10-year-olds, 4.1% for 11-to-15-year-olds, and three% for these 16 and older. Apparently, the one youngster who died was 14 years previous.

It’s not likely stunning that the youngest kids, particularly infants, are extra susceptible. In most epidemics, reminiscent of influenza, it’s the very younger and the very previous which have the best danger.

How can this data assist us?

How can we use this data? Apart from all the recommendation already given to folks about hand washing, social distancing, and sustaining wholesome habits, mother and father of younger kids ought to take additional care.

Be particularly cautious about who has contact along with your younger kids

  • Select caregivers fastidiously. Restrict the quantity general, and select those that have restricted contact with different individuals and who will be trusted to follow social distancing, wash their fingers incessantly, and keep away in the event that they really feel in any respect sick.
  • Restrict the quantity of people that have contact with or maintain younger kids.
  • To the extent that it’s potential, preserve younger kids at residence. Should you take them out, preserve them inside strollers or in any other case restrict what they contact.
  • Wash their fingers much more typically. They simply can’t cease themselves from touching issues and touching their face.

Be notably watchful ought to younger kids get sick

Name your physician for recommendation moderately than bringing your youngster in for delicate or average sickness (there’s nothing your physician can do on the workplace, and you might be simply including the chance of extra exposures). Nonetheless, it is best to completely search medical care in case your youngster has

  • any hassle respiratory — speedy or forceful respiratory, a pale or blue shade to pores and skin, hassle feeding or speaking, or doing traditional actions due to respiratory issues
  • a excessive fever you may’t get down (whereas it’s not sure, there have been some considerations raised about utilizing ibuprofen with COVID-19 — out of an abundance of warning, greatest to make use of acetaminophen as an alternative)
  • uncommon sleepiness
  • ache or irritability you may’t soothe
  • hassle consuming or refusal to drink, and is making much less urine.

Observe me on Twitter @drClaireMD

For extra data on coronavirus and COVID-19, see the Harvard Health Publishing Coronavirus Resource Center.


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