Coronavirus cases in children largely less severe than adults

  07 April 2020    Read: 689
Coronavirus cases in children largely less severe than adults

The novel coronavirus impacts every demographic, but a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that children in the U.S. have largely had mild cases, compared to adults.

The CDC report, released Monday, notes that less than 2 percent of reported cases in the country are children.

The report analyzed 149,760 cases from Feb. 12 to April 2. Of those, age information was known for 149,082 cases and 2,572 were children under the age of 18.

Of cases known with symptoms, underlying conditions and hospitalization status, the "data support[s] previous findings that children with COVID-19 might not have reported fever or cough as often as do adults."

Children with COVID-19 are showing symptoms such as fever, coughing and shortness of breath at a lesser rate than adults, the report added. Seventy-three percent of children had fever, cough or shortness of breath, compared to 93 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 64.

The hospitalization rate is also lesser for children under 18 than it is for adults, at 29 percent and 21 percent, respectively.

"Data from China suggest that pediatric COVID-19 cases might be less severe than cases in adults and that children might experience different symptoms than do adults; however, disease characteristics among pediatric patients in the United States have not been described," the CDC wrote in its report.

The CDC makes it clear that while "most COVID-19 cases in children are not severe," there have been hospitalizations occurring in the age group. The CDC added three children in the U.S. have died from the virus.

As such, the protocols that have been put in place by health officials, such as "social distancing and everyday preventative behaviors," will continue to "remain important for all age groups as patients with less serious illness and those without symptoms likely play an important role in disease transmission," the report added.

More than 1.36 million coronavirus cases had been diagnosed worldwide as of Tuesday morning, including more than 368,000 in the U.S., the most impacted country in the world.


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