The new coronavirus, which ravages the world, tends to be mild for children, with the smallest proportion of the tens of thousands of infections so common lying. The largest study of children and viruses to date has found that while most children experience mild or moderate symptoms, a small proportion of them, especially infants and preschoolers, may become seriously ill.
The study (PDF), published in the journal Pediatrics, analyzed 2,143 sick children under the age of 18 reported by the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on February 8. Only over one third of cases have been confirmed by laboratory testing. The rest are classified as suspected cases based on the child’s symptoms, chest tablets, blood tests, and whether they have been exposed to neo-coronavirus infection. About half of children have mild symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, nasal congestion, and possibly nausea or diarrhea. More than one-third (about 39%) of patients were in moderate condition, and CT scans showed pneumonia or other lung symptoms, but no significant breathing difficulties. About 4% of people do not have any symptoms. 125 children , nearly 6 per cent , suffered from serious illness and a 14-year-old confirmed boy died. Thirteen of these cases are on the verge of respiratory or organ failure and are considered “critically ill”. Others are classified as “severe” because of severe respiratory diseases.