Health

Coronavirus: Most children ‘experience only mild disease’

A study of European children with Covid-19 suggests deaths are extremely rare.

Only four of 582 children died, two of whom had underlying health conditions.

Symptoms were generally mild and some who tested positive had no symptoms at all, but about one in 10 children needed intensive care.

Doctors say the study is "reassuring", but more needs to be discovered about the best treatment options for children who do develop severe disease.

What did the study find?

Researchers led by a team at London's Great Ormond Street looked at 582 children aged from three days up to 18 years living in 25 European countries.

They all tested positive for Covid-19 during the initial peak of the pandemic in April.

A quarter had underlying health conditions.

Of the four deaths during the study (0.69%), none were in children under 10, and two of those who died had pre-existing health conditions.

More than half of the children studied were admitted to hospital, and 8% needed treatment in intensive care.

What symptoms did the children have?

Children commonly had a fever (65%), upper respiratory tract infection (54%), pneumonia (25%) and gastrointestinal symptoms (22%).

Some of the children (16%), most of whom were tested due to close contact with a known case, had no symptoms at all.

What are the implications?

The researchers say the death rate in children is likely to be "substantially lower" than that observed in the study, because those with mild symptoms would not have been tested or diagnosed at the time.

However, more data is needed to help doctors make decisions on the best treatment options for children who do get sick, they add.

Dr Marc Tebruegge, from the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health in London, said overall the vast majority of children and young people experienced only mild forms of the disease.

"Nevertheless, a notable numRead More – Source



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