COVID-19: Meta-analysis confirms children are more resilient to coronavirus

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According to a meta-analysis of data on the first four months of the pandemic in 26 countries, a majority of children infected with COVID-19 had better clinical outcomes when compared to adults affected by the virus. | AFP

As in the adult population studied, the most common symptoms observed in children were fever and cough, which were respectively observed in 59% and 56% of cases.

Among 233 patients with a medical history that made them more vulnerable to the virus, there were 152 children with compromised immune systems or underlying respiratory or cardiac disease. Only a small number of children met metrics for inclusion as cases of multi-system inflammatory syndrome, which is similar to Kawasaki disease. Their disease resembled the more extreme forms of COVID-19 observed in adults.

Children with systemic inflammation had a significant decrease in the amount of lymphocytes, one of the main immune-cell types, in their blood. “COVID-positive children who didn’t have the extreme form of the disease had 42% lymphocytes in their blood, versus 11% in children with the multi-system syndrome,” points out Dr. Moreira.

However, the researcher also warns that the meta-analysis did not take into account a surge in patients in New York, Great Britain and Italy, in which specialists are now beginning to see more children affected by multi-system inflammatory syndrome.


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