Coronavirus Is Contagious, But Kids Seem Less Vulnerable So Far

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    Source : npr

    As the case count of coronavirus infections continues to rise in China, the number of reported infections among children is remarkably low.

    “We’re seeing [about] 75,000 total cases at this point, but the literature is only reporting about 100 or so pediatric cases,” says Terri Lynn Stillwell, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan.

    It’s possible that many more kids are infected but don’t get sick enough to seek medical treatment. It’s also possible that some infected children may develop no symptoms at all.

    “So far, it appears that more than 80% of the [coronavirus] infections are pretty mild, no more severe than the common cold,’ says Cody Meissner, an infectious disease expert and professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine. “And children appear to have even milder infections than adults,” Meissner says. This is based on preliminary data, he says.

    He points to the findings of a small study, published in JAMA. Researchers in Wuhan, China, identified nine hospitalized infants who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 after being infected by a family member. They ranged in age from one month to 11 months old. The researchers documented their symptoms. They found that four of the infants had fevers and two developed a cough. “It was very mild illness,” Meissner says. None of the infants had severe complications.

    So far, it seems the new virus is more likely to infect older adults, particularly people with chronic health problems. And those who have died from the virus in China tend to be much older, with an average age in their 70s.

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