Up to this moment, just over 90,000 people around the world have contracted the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease, resulting in over 3,000 deaths, representing approximately 6% of those affected. However, there is a group of people who are relatively safe: children. To date, only 2.4% of COVID-19 cases have been reported in children. Of these, only 2.5% have had severe symptoms, and only 0.2% have reached a critical state of health. Moreover, to date, there have been no deaths in children under the age of 10 caused by this disease. Only nine children under one year of age have been infected and presented mild symptoms.
Understanding the Enigma of Children and COVID-19 Infection: Insights from Expert in Pediatric Infections
There are still no definitive answers to this phenomenon. Dr. Frank Esper, an expert in pediatric infections at the Cleveland Clinic, has mentioned that “Coronaviruses usually affect children and adults equally, but for some reason, the virus we are currently facing attacks adults more.” This virus behavior is similar to that seen in 2002 with the acute respiratory distress syndrome (SARS), in which children under 12 years old had only mild symptoms.
While the reasons behind why children seem to be less affected by COVID-19 are still being studied, it is clear that they are not immune to the virus. It is important for parents and caregivers to continue taking all necessary precautions to protect children from exposure to the virus, including regular hand washing, avoiding contact with sick individuals, and ensuring they are up to date on vaccinations. By taking these measures, we can help ensure the health and protection of our children in the face of this ongoing pandemic.
Coronaviruses and Children: Understanding Their Unusual Relationship
Although kids under 5 years of age are much more susceptible to complications caused by other respiratory viruses such as influenza, coronaviruses seem to have an indolent behavior. According to Dr. David Weber of the University of North Carolina in the United States, “This trend could be due to less exposure of children to the virus or to their bodies’ response to the virus being different from that of adults.
It has also not been found that the virus can be transmitted through breast milk. Therefore, it is not recommended to interrupt breastfeeding, even if the mother is a confirmed case of COVID-19, since milk contains vital substances for the baby’s immune system development. Only the use of a mask and thorough hand and breast hygiene before touching the child is recommended, as well as suction pumps and any other utensil used to feed the child.
Protecting The Little Ones from Infection: Key Recommendations
To keep a child healthy, it is recommended to follow the usual recommendations: wash their hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoid contact with other people with respiratory symptoms, and keep up-to-date with their vaccination schedule, including influenza.