Parents need to prepare kids to guard against CoVid-19

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The World Health Organization said parents need to prepare their kids to guard against COVID-19 after a new study showed that babies and very young children can sometimes develop severe symptoms.

CNBC reports that a recent study showed that a number of children in China have developed severe or critical disease and one child has died, said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, at a news conference on Wednesday.

“What we need to prepare for is the possibility that children can also experience severe disease.”

The new study, which was published online in the journal Pediatrics, looked at 2,143 cases of children with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 that were reported to the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between Jan. 16 and Feb. 8. More than 90% of the cases were asymptomatic, mild or moderate cases. However, nearly 6% of the children’s cases were severe or critical, compared with 18.5% for adults.

The report, as published on The Lancet, said that the 99 patients with 2019-nCoV pneumonia, 49 (49%) had a history of exposure to the Huanan seafood market. The average age of the patients was 55·5 years (SD 13·1), including 67 men and 32 women. 2019-nCoV was detected in all patients by real-time RT-PCR. 50 (51%) patients had chronic diseases. Patients had clinical manifestations of fever (82 [83%] patients), cough (81 [82%] patients), shortness of breath (31 [31%] patients), muscle ache (11 [11%] patients), confusion (nine [9%] patients), headache (eight [8%] patients), sore throat (five [5%] patients), rhinorrhoea (four [4%] patients), chest pain (two [2%] patients), diarrhoea (two [2%] patients), and nausea and vomiting (one [1%] patient). According to imaging examination, 74 (75%) patients showed bilateral pneumonia, 14 (14%) patients showed multiple mottling and ground-glass opacity, and one (1%) patient had pneumothorax. 17 (17%) patients developed acute respiratory distress syndrome and, among them, 11 (11%) patients worsened in a short period of time and died of multiple organ failure.

“There could be a number of reasons,” Bonnie Maldonado, an infectious disease expert at Stanford who was not involved with the study, said in a statement. “It’s possible that the receptor for the virus may not be in the same configuration in children as adults. It’s possible that there were just more adults who were tested because that has been the focus.”

Early in the outbreak, researchers said the new virus appeared to be sparing children while being particularly severe in the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. Symptoms can include a sore throat, runny nose, fever or pneumonia and can progress to multiple organ failure or even death in some cases, they said.

VIA CNBC / The Lancet 

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