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COVID-19 is 'very different' in young kids versus adults

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A study of 34 children hospitalized with a coronavirus infection in China reveals that fever and coughing were common, but the type of lesions typically seen in the lungs of adults with COVID-19 were rare.
Olena, A.
Publication Date: 
16 Jun 2020

Excerpted from article

According to the World Health Organization, there have been nearly 8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19—the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus—as of June 16. In April, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that about 2 percent of US cases were in children younger than 18 years, and evidence from China, Europe, and the US has indicated that children tend to have milder cases. In a study published today in PLOS Medicine, researchers in China report that even among children hospitalized with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections, their illnesses were mild compared to adults’ experiences.

This study “adds to the growing body of literature that is giving us some experience with what COVID-19 looks like in children, which, as we’re learning, is very different than what COVID-19 looks like in adults,” says Jennifer Schuster, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

In the new study, a research team documented the cases of 34 children, ages one month to 12 years, admitted between January 27 and February 23, 2020, to one of four hospitals in Hubei—the central Chinese province where Wuhan is—or Shaanxi, which is a province in northwest China. The patients, 14 boys and 20 girls, all had a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection.