How is coronavirus affecting children’s health?

It has been widely reported that children are less likely to get severely ill and die from the new coronavirus, according to an article in the New Scientist journal.

It points to a study of nearly 45,000 people people with confirmed covid-19 infection which found that children under 10 years old made up less than one per cent of those cases and none of the 1023 deaths.

“This is unlike flu,” says Akiko Iwasaki at Yale University. With flu, young children and older people, he adds, are usually the most severely affected, so why is the new coronavirus different? It is a bit of a mystery. A straightforward explanation would be that children are resisting infection in the first place, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. One recent study even found children to be just as likely as adults to get infected.

What is protecting children?

In any case, children that do become infected are still less likely to get sick with covid-19 and die – a similar trend to that seen with SARS or MERS, two other severe diseases caused by coronaviruses. So, what is protecting children?

“No one has a good answer to that question yet,” says Iwasaki. But she and other experts suspect it may be down to the unique way children’s immune systems respond to these viruses.

Click here for the full article from the New Scientist.

Author: Simon Weedy

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