Understanding Milder Symptoms in Children Could Help Adults With COVID-19 | #covid19 | #kids | #childern


Since the coronavirus outbreak began, scientists have been trying to understand why children with COVID-19 are much less likely than adults to experience severe complications from the infection.

To get a “better clinical picture” of how virus can behave in children, a team of researchers at UT Health San Antonio compiled an analysis and review of 131 studies from 26 countries that looked at how COVID-19 affects infants, children, and teens up to 18 years of age.

By understanding which variables and predictors lead to better outcomes in children, the medical community can try to optimize them and devise a treatment that might work for adults, said Dr. Alvaro Moreira, the study’s senior author and assistant professor of pediatrics at UT Health San Antonio.

Published Friday in EClinicalMedicine, an open-access journal from the medical journal The Lancet, the analysis found that the majority of children experience mild symptoms of COVID-19 and recover easily and that severe forms of the disease in children occur only in very rare circumstances.

Those who experienced severe symptoms or developed multisystem inflammatory syndrome – a condition linked to COVID-19 when different body parts become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain – had low levels of a white blood cell component called lymphocytes, which are responsible for carrying out immune defense. 

“COVID-positive children who didn’t have the extreme form of the disease had [an average of] 42 percent lymphocytes in their blood, versus 11 percent in children with the multisystem syndrome,” Moreira said. “This parallels what we are seeing in adult patients with poor outcomes.”


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