The part children play in the coronavirus outbreak is the white-hot question of the summer as kids enjoy their free time while schools toil over how to resume classes. The Trump administration says the science is ‘very clear,’ but some may not seem to agree with the statement.
“There are still a lot of unanswered questions. That is the biggest challenge,” said Dr. Sonja Rasmussen, a pediatrics professor at the University of Florida and a former scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Kids Are Less Likely to be Infected
Several research suggests that children are less likely to contract the pathogen than adults and more prone to have mild symptoms. An early report from Wuhan, China, where the outbreak began during the winter, found that less than 2 percent of cases were in children.
As of July 9th, about 200,000 kids had tested positive in the United States, as per a count based on reports by the American Academy of Pediatrics. However, here comes the issue with spoiled tests, as many scientists explain.FDA has issued a warning about the reliability of the tests for the virus, while CDC clearly stated that more than half of the tests could be wrong.
One early study analyzing infections in children comes from a Wuhan hospital. Of 171 children treated there, most had relatively mild symptoms. Perhaps more concerning was that 12 of them had X-ray evidence of pneumonia, but had no other manifestations.
Most Infected Children Show no Symptoms
A CDC research involving 2.500 children was published in April and echoed the findings of the scientists at the Wuhan hospital. However, the study lacks complete data on all the cases, but it also determines that most infected children have no symptoms.
“We’re trying to figure out who those kids are,” Rasmussen said. “We need to figure out the impact on kids and on the rest of the community, their parents, and their grandparents.
A National Institutes of Health-sponsored study trying to answer this question and others is currently underway.
Another JAMA Pediatrics study from May, cited Thursday by White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, involved 48 children treated in both U.S. and Canadian hospitals. As McEnany revealed, most of them were not critically ill and was correct when she said that children appear less likely to become critically ill from COVID-19 than from the flu.