Some Children Suffer Severe Cases

The largest study to date of children in China shows that while most children infected with the SARS-CoV2 virus escaped with mild to moderate symptoms, a small percentage became seriously ill.

Out of 2,143 children studied, according to a pre-publication release from Pediatrics,about 4% showed no symptoms. Half suffered only mild symptoms, and about 39% experienced moderate illness. But 125 children—nearly 6%—fell severely ill. Of those 125, more than 60% were 5 years or younger—including 40 infants.

The Takeaway: “Even within the kids, there’s a spectrum of illness and there’s a handful that require more aggressive therapy,” says Srinivas Murthy, a University of British Columbia pediatrics professor.

Researchers are exploring several theories about why kids generally seem to get milder cases: They often have healthier lungs. They might be less likely to develop the aggressive immune response that could be driving destructive inflammation in organs in adults. Another possibility: the receptor or protein that the virus’s particles latch on to is less prominently expressed in young children.

The New York Times

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