New Delhi: Empirical studies conducted so far on coronavirus indicate that the pathogen has a milder impact on children. But there is insufficient data to suggest if the disease has a more severe effect on infants than older children.
Dr Karen Katloff from the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine, a specialist in infectious disease and paediatrics, during an interaction told journalists that “we can feel assured from the information we have so far that children are faring well for the most part and that is a wonderful news.”
“What we know is that most children who get infected get mild disease. About 10% will have more severe disease. Only a handful of children will die from this infection,” she added.
Most of the fatalities in the COVID-19 positive cases have been among the aged with co-morbid conditions.
Some research has indicated that the immunity response in older patients during the second week of illness “triggers pathology in the lungs”.
“So we wonder if there is a difference in the immune response of children in the second week. They do not get this explosion of inflammation that is harmful to the lungs,” said Dr Katloff.
However, there seems to be little credible evidence to suggest that among the younger population, the infants are more severely affected by the virus.
A study conducted in China which makes claims to this effect may not conclusively establish the theory.
“There were cases involved in the study which included where only a third of the children had proven COVID-19 infections and the rest had only suspected infections” the doctor said.
Some reports from China suggest that of the first 70,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections, only 2 percent were children under 19 years of age.
Only one child under the age group died, and there was no mortality recorded in any patient who was less than nine year old.