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How Does the Coronavirus Affect Kids?


How Does the Coronavirus Affect Kids? | COVID 19 and Children

COVID 19 and Children - How Does the Coronavirus Affect Kids? | COVID-19
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There has been little media coverage about COVID 19 in children, and one of the reasons is because COVID-19 is less prevalent and less severe in children. The case fatality rate of COVID-19 in the pediatric population is also less compared to the adult population.
As a result, there are many misconceptions about COVID 19 in children. So in this video, let’s breakdown what we do know. And I’ll try to best answer some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to COVID in children.

Are children immune to COVID-19?
No, children are not immune to COVID-19, which is why states have shut down schools.
Children do have a relatively lower chance of getting COVID-19 compared to adults. While about 22% of the United States population are children less than the age of 18 years old, only about 2% of patients with COVID-19 infection are children. About 90 percent of cases are the results of household and community exposure, the other 10 percent of cases were associated with travel.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 in children?
In most cases, symptoms of children with COVID-19 are similar to those of adults, which can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, nasal congestion or running nose, sore throat, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, fatigue, headache, myalgia, and poor feeding or low appetite.
However, children are less likely to present with typical COVID-19 symptoms. In one CDC report, 73% of pediatric patients had symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath compared with 93% of adults age 18 to 64 years who had these symptoms during the same time.
Most of the children with COVID-19 were asymptomatic or had mild or moderate symptoms. In a large study of 2143 pediatric patients in China, the data showed:
- 4% of patients were asymptomatic (no clinical symptoms with normal chest imaging)
- 51% had mild symptoms (fever, cough, fatigue, and myalgia)
- 39% had moderate symptoms (pneumonia with symptoms or subclinical cases with abnormal chest imaging)
- 5% of cases are severe (dyspnea, hypoxia, or central cyanosis)
- Less than 1% of cases are critical (acute respiratory distress syndrome [ARDS], shock, respiratory failure, or multi-organ dysfunction)

There are symptoms and complications of COVID-19 that are more specific to children. One of the more severe complications is something called multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). MIS-C can present with persistent fever, inflammation, and evidence of single or multi-organ dysfunction (shock, respiratory, cardiac, gastrointestinal, renal, or neurologic disorder). Some children with MIS-C may present with symptoms of Kawasaki disease, which can present with fevers, red eyes, body rashes, a sore throat, swollen hands and feet, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, red & dry, cracked lips, and a “strawberry” tongue.

While the links between COVID-19 and MIS-C are unclear and are generally rare, dozens of children in New York City and Europe have been identified with MIS-C since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic, and 3 deaths have occurred in NYC.

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What you need to know about kids and coronavirus

The number of reported coronavirus cases in children is low, and the majority of those affected have only had mild symptoms.

Infectious diseases researcher and paediatrician Dr Asha Bowen has shared what we know so far about how coronavirus affects kids on ABC News.

Why does coronavirus affect children and adults differently? | The Stream

When it comes to the flu and other viral infections, children are high risk. Not only do they get sick, they can amplify the spread of viruses to family and community. But, globally, one of the biggest mysteries of the coronavirus pandemic has been childrens' ability to stave off the worst symptoms, remain asymptomatic or even be immune to the virus.

Some of the earliest and best data has come out of China. A study of 2143 paediatric cases (731 lab-confirmed, with the rest suspected) showed more than 90 percent were either asymptomatic or had mild or moderate symptoms. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control found that, as of April 2020, a mere 1.7% of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country were in children under the age of 18, with only three paediatric deaths among the cases analysed. Data from Italy shows similar patterns.

What’s not known is if there is a long-term impact from exposure to coronavirus, even among those who did not show symptoms when infected. The World Health Organization says they do not yet see a clear answer from the data collected.

But while most children appear to handle COVID-19 well, in some rare cases the disease can spark a severe condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). It causes inflammation of the heart, lungs and other vital organs. In most situations children have recovered.

So as schools, camp and care facilities begin opening up around the world, what are the biggest medical concerns about the impact of coronavirus on children? We'll discuss with a panel of experts.

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Children and COVID-19

Our UF Health physicians are here to address common concerns surrounding COVID-19 and your child's safety.

If you have a question that you want answered about COVID-19 and children in a future video, please email us at:

Coronavirus: Kids and Anxiety During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Explaining the COVID-19 novel coronavirus to children can be a challenge. Dr. Breanna Winder-Patel, a clinical psychologist at the world-renowned UC Davis MIND Institute, answers questions about guiding kids through this difficult situation, including those with neurodevelopmental differences, and explains how to understand and manage their stress and anxiety.

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How the coronavirus pandemic affects parents of special needs children

The COVID-19 pandemic has given parents an entirely new set of challenges in how to entertain and educate their children while in quarantine.

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How does Coronavirus affect our lungs?

We spoke to Professor Debby Bogaert, Scottish Senior Clinical Fellow and Honorary Consultant in paediatric infectious diseases at the University of Edinburgh about the effect of COVID-19 on our respiratory system.

To contact The Physiological Society:

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new type of coronavirus, but what is the respiratory system and how is it affected by COVID-19? We spoke to Professor Debby Bogaert, Scottish Senior Clinical Fellow and Honorary Consultant in paediatric infectious diseases at Edinburgh University.

Our respiratory system is a series of organs responsible for taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide, also known as gas exchange. Professor Bogaert told us that when we become infected with COVID-19, it can cause an infection of part of this respiratory system known as the respiratory tree, which is found in our lungs. The respiratory tree, also called the bronchial tree, is a name given to the branch-like structure in our lungs which includes the bronchi right down to the tiny air sacs called alveoli. Professor Bogaert goes on to say that when we contract COVID-19 the lining of the respiratory tree typically becomes damaged, irritating the nerves in the lining of the airway, and causing that dry cough we’ve heard about. However for a small number of people, the infection can cause more severe problems by affecting what’s known as ‘gas exchange’. Gas exchange happens around the alveoli, those tiny air sacs at the tips of the respiratory tree - oxygen passes into the blood and carbon dioxide passes from the blood into the alveoli and is then exhaled - Professor Bogaert says that if COVID-19 affects this process, our body becomes less able to take on oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide over time, and some people will need a ventilator to help them breathe.


Coronaviruses (CoV) are a family of viruses that cause sicknesses like the common cold, as well as more severe diseases, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain – one that hasn’t previously been recognized in humans.
Coronaviruses cause diseases in mammals and birds. A zoonotic virus is one that is transmitted between animals and people. When a virus circulating in animal populations infects people, this is termed a “spillover event”.
How does CoVID-19 affect the body? The virus is fitted with protein spikes sticking out of the envelope that forms the surface and houses a core of genetic material. Any virus that enters your body looks for cells with compatible receptors – ones that allow it to invade the cell. Once they find the right cell, they enter and use the cell’s replication machinery to create copies of themselves. It is likely that COVID-19 uses the same receptor as SARS – found in both lungs and small intestines.
It is thought that CoVID-19 shares many similarities with SARS, which has three phases of attack: viral replication, hyper-reactivity of the immune system, and finally pulmonary destruction. Early on in infection, the coronavirus invades two types of cells in the lungs – mucus and cilia cells. Mucus keeps your lungs from drying out and protects them from pathogens. Cilia beat the mucus towards the exterior of your body, clearing debris – including viruses! – out of your lungs. Cilia cells were the preferred hosts of SARS-CoV, and are likely the preferred hosts of the new coronavirus. When these cells die, they slough off into your airways, filling them with debris and fluid. Symptoms include a fever, cough, and breathing difficulties. Many of those infected get pneumonia in both their lungs.
Enter the immune system. Immune cells recognize the virus and flood into the lungs. The lung tissue becomes inflamed. During normal immune function, the inflammatory process is highly regulated and is confined to infected areas. However, sometimes the immune system overreacts, and this results in damage to healthy tissue. More cells die and slough off into the lungs, further clogging them and worsening the pneumonia.
As damage to the lungs increases, stage three begins, potentially resulting in respiratory failure. Patients that reach this stage of infection can incur permanent lung damage or even die. We see the same lesions in the lungs of those infected by the novel coronavirus as those with SARS. SARS creates holes in the lungs, so they look honeycomb-like. This is probably due to the aforementioned over-reactive immune response, which affects tissue both infected and healthy and creates scars that stiffen the lungs. As such, some patients may require ventilators to aid breathing.
The inflammation also results in more permeable alveoli. This is the location of the thin interface of gas exchange, where your lungs replace carbon dioxide in your blood with fresh oxygen you just inhaled. Increased permeability causes fluid to leak into the lungs. This decreases the lungs’ ability to oxygenate blood, and in severe cases, floods them so that you become unable to breathe. Sometimes, this can be fatal.
The immune system’s over-reaction can also cause another kind of damage. Proteins called cytokines are the immune system’s alarm system, recruiting immune cells to the infection site. Over-production of cytokines can result in a cytokine storm, where there is large-scale inflammation in the body. Blood vessels become more permeable and fluid seeps out. This makes it difficult for blood and oxygen to reach the rest of the body and can result in multi-organ failure. This has happened in the most severe cases of CoVid-19. Although there are no specific treatments for coronaviruses, symptoms can be treated through supportive care. Also, vaccines are currently in development.
What can you do to protect yourself from CoVid-19? Basic protocol comes down to regular hand washing, avoiding close contact with anyone coughing or sneezing, avoiding unnecessary contact with animals, washing hands after contact with animals, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs prior to consumption, and covering your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing. Respiratory viruses are typically transmitted via droplets in sneezes or coughs of those infected, so preventing their travel stops the spread of disease.

Alveoli model from:

When to Seek Care for COVID-19 Symptoms | Cincinnati Children's

Are you concerned that your child might be showing signs of COVID-19?

Well, I know it can be scary any time that your little one is not feeling well.

Here's when to seek medical care:

If your child is experiencing shortness of breath, it is vital that you visit an emergency room immediately.

For common symptoms like coughing, body aches, fever or a sore throat, contact your child's primary care physician for a phone consultation and next steps.

If your child does not have a primary care physician, or access to their regular doctor, you can use the CincyKids Health Connect app to talk to a Cincinnati Children's provider using video visit technology.

Providers may ask questions about travel or contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.

If your child's symptoms are minor and do not meet the testing criteria, guidance will be given for in-home monitoring and follow-up instructions.

Change the outcome together with Cincinnati Children's.

How does the coronavirus pandemic affect the global youth? | COVID-19 Special

What does it mean to grow up in the middle of a pandemic? It still has to be a time of learning, experimenting and discovering, it's just not as it once was. School isn't the same, forming friendships is different now too. The kind of childhood young people now have will shape their adult lives socially and economically.

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The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Expert Body on Coronavirus has released guidance for General Public and healthcare professionals on the symptoms of the virus.

What Signs and Symptoms should you look out for
A person could be at risk if they have any or all of the Following:
Fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness, such as coughing or difficulty breathing, after travelling to Wuhan or having close contact with someone who was ill and is now under investigation for the virus in the past two weeks.
Fever or symptoms of lower respiratory illness after having close contact in the past two weeks with someone who's been confirmed to have the virus.
The CDC defined close contact as being within about 6 feet (1.8 m) or within the room or care area of a person with the coronavirus for a prolonged period without appropriate protective clothing, or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a person with the virus without protective clothing.

Which People should be Extra Careful:
Coronaviruses are particularly dangerous for people who have weaker immune systems, like young children and older adults

How to protect yourself
To protect yourself from the virus:
Try to avoid contact with people who display symptoms similar to those of pneumonia or the common cold, like coughing or a runny nose.
Don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, and scrub for at least 20 seconds.
Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when possible.
Avoid animals and animal markets.
The only current treatment for Coronavirus being offered is Supportive in Nature. If you notice any of these signs and Symptoms please contact your nearest Professional Healthcare setup. Share this video to help spread this information to those you love.

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New Coronavirus Study Will Look At Impact Of Infection On Kids | TODAY

Fifteen children in New York have been hospitalized with a mysterious illness possibly tied to the coronavirus. A new federally funded study will take a deeper look at how COVID-19 affects children: how many kids have had it, and the potential risks they pose to others. NBC’s Joe Fryer reports for TODAY.
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New Coronavirus Study Will Look At Impact Of Infection On Kids | TODAY

How Might the Coronavirus Affect Kids With Chronic Illness?

Children with chronic illnesses or who are immunocompromised are potentially at higher risk for more severe disease if they are infected with the coronavirus. Dr. David Brumbaugh talks with our pediatric infectious disease expert Dr. Sam Dominguez about which kids fall into this high-risk group. They also discuss what parents should be doing to limit their child’s exposure to the coronavirus and what to do if they think their child may have the coronavirus.

To learn more about the coronavirus, visit

Editor's note: This video was filmed on March 6, 2020. Due to the nature of the coronavirus pandemic, recommendations can change quickly. Please follow all rules and guidelines set by your local public health and safety authorities. Reference the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and your local health department for timely updates on COVID-19.

How does COVID-19 affect children and can they pass on the virus?

Coronavirus is generally considered by scientists as an extremely infectious disease, however, different age groups may spread the virus more than others. According to new research, children play a far smaller role in transmitting the virus than adults, and there is no evidence that young kids can spread COVID-19 at all. With this in mind, Switzerland has announced it will allow children under ten to visit and come into contact with their grandparents again, with the Federal Office of Public Health claiming children pose no risk to the elderly but said contact should be kept brief.

Contact tracing conducted by the WHO has found children under 10 did not spread coronavirus, however, this does not mean that they cannot spread COVID-19. Contact tracing means to interview infected people to find out who they have been in touch with, in order to map the spread of the virus.

The study, conducted by the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health, found the evidence consistently demonstrates reduced infection and infectivity of children in the transmission chain.

This week, it was discovered a nine-year-old boy who contracted the virus in Eastern France did not pass the virus on despite coming into contact with more than 170 people.

Read more: Half-term coronavirus warning to parents amid fears kids could pick up bug -

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Does coronavirus affect children differently?

Covid-19, the disease caused by the Sars-Cov-2 coronavirus appears to have largely spared young children. Most hospitalisations and deaths are among older adults and those with chronic illnesses, like diabetes, asthma, hypertension etc. However, clinicians in the US and Europe are investigating the possible link of a deadly inflammatory syndrome with coronavirus disease. Watch the full video for more.

How does the coronavirus affect children?

The debate over re-opening schools continues and there are still a lot of questions about how the virus could affect children. What experts say here.

How to Talk to Kids About the Coronavirus

News of the coronavirus COVID-19 is everywhere, from the front page of all the papers to the playground at school. Many parents are wondering how to bring up the epidemic in a way that will be reassuring and not make kids more worried than they already may be. Here is some advice Jamie Howard, PhD, Clinical Psychologist at the Child Mind Institute.

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Jamie Howard is a senior clinical psychologist in the Anxiety Disorders Center; and Director of Trauma and Resilience Service at the Child Mind Institute:

We're Learning More About The COVID-19 Syndrome That Affects Kids | NBC New York

A new report on multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children ruled out one of three deaths previously associated with MIS-C in New York by health officials. Melissa Russo reports.

How does COVID-19 affect kids?

Coronavirus: How does COVID-19 affect children (and what is Kawasaki disease)? | 7NEWS

While kids also seem much less likely to catch the novel coronavirus than flu, in the United States, news has been spreading of a new inflammatory illness in children linked to COVID-19.

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