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Withscheduled to begin, and immediate questions surround the new coronavirus, including its effects on children. Can children get sick from COVID-19 or are they “almost immune?” Can they transmit the disease to others? Do some children get Kawasaki disease or toxic shock from coronavirus?
Part of the confusion stems from doctors’ original belief that COVID-19 does not always affect children as hard as it hits adults. However, this perception was reinforced by the discovery of an inflammatory condition related to COVID-19 in children that reflected autoimmune disease symptoms and in rare cases could be fatal. Consensus remains that children are less likely to die from coronavirus than adults, but that does not mean they are immune in any way.
“The idea that COVID-19 spares young people is just false,” said Dr. Lawrence C. Kleinman, a medical school professor at Rutgers who co-authored a study on coronavirus in children and spoke to Science Daily. “Parents must continue to take the virus seriously.”
This article is not intended to serve as medical advice. Using available information from sources such as the CDC and the World Health Organization, it examines what experts say about COVID-19 in children, including how sick they can become and how contagious they can be to the adults in their lives. If you are looking for more information on coronavirus testing,close to you ( ). here is and .
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Can children spread coronavirus, even if they are asymptomatic?
A CDC report from July investigating a coronavirus outbreak at a summer camp in Georgia suggests that the coronavirus could spread quickly and easily among the nearly 600 children, teens and adults who participated in the camp. Of those tested, 76% were positive for the coronavirus. Remarkably, approximately 26% of those with coronavirus were asymptomatic.
However, a commentary in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics published in August claims that children are much more likely to develop coronavirus from adults than adults are from children. The authors conclude that children are not essential drivers of coronavirus community spread. “Therefore,” the authors write, “consider strategies that enable schools to remain open, even during periods of COVID-19 proliferation.”
Just as there are still many unknowns regarding COVID-19, no one can say for sure to what extent children can spread coronavirus. One thing is for sure though – they are spreading it.
What happens to children infected with coronavirus
Fortunately, the prognosis seems to be very good in the vast majority of cases of pedonic coronavirus cases. It is still believed that most children do not get as sick as adults with COVID-19 – in fact, many can not show any symptoms at all.
However, a small minority of children with COVID-19 have been shown to develop a potentially life-threatening condition called either multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (aka MIS-C) or pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome (aka PIMS).
What are the symptoms of this rare inflammatory syndrome?
The symptoms reported by patients and doctors vary. Doctors have observed persistent fever, red eyes and rash, as well as low blood pressure, inflammation, pale and sometimes blue lips and skin, difficulty breathing and fatigue.
The most serious reports describe blood clots, chest pain, increased heart rate and organ failure, including in extreme cases cardiac arrest. Children with the disease do not always complain of airways that doctors have expected from COVID-19 patients. But in addition to these and some other symptoms, doctors admit that little else is known for sure about the syndrome. All they say is certain is that it requires immediate medical attention.
This is how survivors say it felt like
Knowledge about multisystem inflammatory syndrome is still limited, but some children who have recovered have talked to the media about their experiences.
A teenage boy who spoke to the New York Times in May described the feeling as “like someone injected you with straight fire” during his hospitalization for heart failure.
A 12-year-old girl told the Washington Post that she remembered having “strange” bluish lips and felt “super tired” before doctors said she had a cardiac arrest.
Doctors say another 12-year-old girl developed a blood clot that stopped her heart. “It felt like someone stabbed my leg,” she told NBC, which reported that it took 45 minutes of CPR to get it going again.
How common is MIS-C / PIMS?
In mid-July, the CDC reports 342 confirmed cases of MIS-C and six deaths. With total coronavirus infections approaching 20 million worldwide, experts say the disease is still quite rare and that the vast majority of patients have so far responded well to treatment, while most have recovered.
How does coronavirus cause all these symptoms?
To date, no one knows for sure, but some doctors believe that it may be some form of delayed reaction of the child’s immune system that is abnormal and unusually aggressive. Doctors speculate that while trying to fight the virus, children’s immune systems overreact and begin to damage normal, healthy cells, such as those in their organs. They suggest that this may also be what leads to the dangerous blood pressure that is often observed.
At the end of May, Dr. described Christopher Strother, director of emergency medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, described the Washington Post syndrome as the pediatric version of the cytokine storm phenomenon, an immune reaction in the body that can cause fever, swelling and even organ failure. Some doctors have reported that cytokine storms can also affect adults with COVID-19, The Lancet reported.
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The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical condition or health goal.