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Impact of COVID-19 ...different on children and adults

As doctors and medical experts across the globe continue to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on young children, so far reports have pointed to the fact that children were largely spared from the complications of the novel coronavirus and they rarely develop serious illness from the disease.

While there have been reports of a possible connection between the coronavirus infection and a new pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome reported in children in US, UK, France, Italy and Spain, the association between the two still hasn’t been clearly understood. So far studies have found that children are less vulnerable to the novel coronavirus when compared to the adults.

Some theories suggest that children do not have the A2 receptor, which is what SARS-CoV-2 needs to spread to the lower respiratory tract. In children, this is not developed, so the infection is largely in the upper respiratory tract.”

According to a study published in the Journal Jama, “ACE2 gene expression in the nasal epithelium was lowest in younger children” out of the 305 coronavirus patients, who were between the age of 4 to 60 years.Infact, a lot of studies conducted in China, Australia, Netherlands and Iceland have all confirmed the same thing--fewer children get sick from the coronavirus infection when compared to the adults but those who do, may end up getting severely sick due to abnormal immune system response.

Other health experts believe that it is the kids’ rapidly developing immune system-- which is constantly fighting novel pathogens (new to their bodies, but not for the adults)-- which is flexible enough to deal with new viruses and bacteria.

Even though most kids may not get very sick from the novel coronavirus, those who get infected may battle new pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome, which is a serious and life-threatening illness. This is precisely why it is important to closely monitor symptoms of coronavirus and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). Some of the most common symptoms of MIS-C include:

1.High-grade fever

2.Abdomen pain

3.Red, bloodshot eyes

4. Rash

Even though MIS-C is still very rare in children, delayed diagnosis can prove to be life-threatening. It is important to watch out for any symptoms of hyper-immune system response in children (especially if they have been exposed to novel coronavirus) as the disease may progress very quickly.


Source: Times of India



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