Coronavirus and children, a latent enigma

Side view portrait of cute little girl visiting doctor and sitting in her mothers lap with mouth open during examination

Up to this moment, more than 90,000 people around the world have been infected with the virus SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, with more than 3,000 deaths which represent 6 % of those affected; nevertheless, there is a group  who is relatively spared: children.

Only 2.4% of COVID-19 cases have affected children, among them, only 2.5% had severe symptoms, and only 0.2% have been critically ill, but there are no fatalities in children under 10 years old and only 9 children younger than 1 year old have been infected, presenting only mild disease.

There is no convincing evidence for these phenomena.Dr. Frank Esper, an expert in pediatric infections at Cleveland Clinic, has mentioned that coronavirus usually affect equally children and adults, but for any reason, the virus we are facing now attacks adults mainly.

This virus behavior is similar to SARS virus in 2002, which provoked only mild symptoms in children younger than 12 years old.

Despite the fact that children younger than 5 year old are much more susceptible to complications from other respiratory viruses like influenza, coronaviruses seam to have an indolent course.

According to Dr. David Weber from University of North Carolina in the United States, this tendency could be attributed to less exposure from children to the virus or to a response to this different from adults.

Also, there is no evidence of virus transmission through breast milk, so there is no actual recommendation to interrupt breastfeeding even if mother is a confirmed case of COVID-19, since breast milk contains substances that are vital for the development of baby’s immune system. The only referred caution in these cases is to use a face mask  and keep exhaustive hygiene of hands and breasts before touching the child and also in suction pumps or any other utensil used to feed the child.

To keep children safe it is recommended to follow usual measures of hygiene like frequent hand washing with water and soap or alcohol based disinfectant gel, avoid contact with people who have respiratory infection symptoms and keep vaccination scheme up to date, including influenza.

Ana Mendizabal:

Esta web usa cookies.