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How does COVID-19 affect kids? Science has answers and gaps


How does COVID-19 affect kids? Science has answers and gaps

Evidence behind what role children play in the coronavirus pandemic and how it affects them is inconclusive, despite the Trump administration’s position that the science is clearBy LINDSEY TANNER AP Medical WriterJuly 17, 2020, 10:46 PM4 min read What role children play in the coronavirus pandemic is the hot-button question of the summer as kids…

How does COVID-19 affect kids? Science has answers and gaps

Proof behind what function children play in the coronavirus pandemic and how it impacts them is inconclusive, despite the Trump administration’s position that the science is clear



July 17, 2020, 10: 46 PM

4 minutes read

What role kids play in the coronavirus pandemic is the hot-button concern of the summer season as kids relish their leisure time while schools labor over how to resume classes.

The Trump administration states the science “is extremely clear,” however numerous doctors who concentrate on pediatrics and contagious illness say much of the evidence is inconclusive.

” There are still a lot of unanswered questions. That is the biggest difficulty,” said Dr. Sonja Rasmussen, a pediatrics teacher at the University of Florida and previous researcher at the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Avoidance.

A number of research studies suggest, but do not prove, that kids are less likely to end up being infected than grownups and more most likely to have only mild signs.

An early report from Wuhan, China, where the break out started last winter season, discovered that fewer than 2%of cases were in kids. Later on reports suggest in between 5%and 8%of U.S. cases remain in kids.

The CDC says 175,374 cases have actually been confirmed in kids aged 17 and under since Friday, accounting for roughly 6%of all confirmed cases. The variety of kids who have actually been contaminated but not confirmed is almost definitely far higher than that though, specialists say, because those with mild or no signs are less most likely to get evaluated.

The CDC states 228 children and teenagers through age 17 have actually passed away from the illness in the U.S. as of Thursday, about 0.2%of the more than 138,000 Americans who have passed away in all.

One early study analyzing infections in kids originates from a Wuhan health center. Of 171 kids treated there, most had fairly moderate disease. One kid died, and only 3 required extensive care and ventilator treatment. Possibly more worrisome was that 12 had X-ray evidence of pneumonia, however no other signs.

A CDC research study including 2,500 children published that exact same month, in April, echoed those findings. About 1 in 5 infected children were hospitalized versus 1 in 3 adults; three kids died. The research study does not have total data on all the cases, however it also recommends that lots of infected children have no signs.

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” We’re attempting to determine who those kids are,” Rasmussen said. “We require to find out the impact on kids and on the remainder of the community, their moms and dads and their grandparents. If they’re sending a lot to each other, and then bringing it home to their households.”

Not understanding if children are infected makes it challenging for schools to resume securely, numerous experts say. Limited information on whether contaminated kids– consisting of those without signs– quickly spread out the illness to others makes complex the problem, said Jeffrey Shaman, a Columbia University infectious illness professional.

A National Institutes of Health-sponsored research study looking for to respond to that concern and others is under method.

A JAMA Pediatrics research study from May, cited Thursday by White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, included just 48 children treated in U.S. and Canadian extensive care units. As McEnany indicated, many were not seriously ill. Still, she did not point out that 18, or practically 40%, required ventilator treatment and 2 passed away.

McEnany was right that children appear less most likely to become critically ill from COVID-19 than from the influenza. However the CDC states COVID-19 can be more infectious and has been connected with more “superspreading” occasions than the flu, meaning it can rapidly spread out and contaminate lots of individuals.

Also, blood clots and organ damage have actually been discovered in kids with COVID-19, consisting of those who establish an associated inflammatory illness. The most current count programs 342 U.S. children and teens have actually developed that condition, called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in kids.

The condition is rare but can take place in kids with existing or current COVID-19 infections. Signs include fever and problems in a minimum of two organs, typically consisting of the heart. Digestion issues prevail, and some cases have been mistaken with Kawasaki illness and hazardous shock syndrome.

Perhaps the biggest unknown is whether permanent damage to lungs and other organs can result. The virus is too new to know for sure.


Follow AP Medical Author Lindsey Tanner at @LindseyTanner.


AP Medical Author Mike Stobbe contributed from New York.


The Associated Press Health and Science Department gets assistance from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is entirely accountable for all content.

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