*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on HealthDay.
Mirroring findings from a similar study in China, the first comprehensive tally of coronavirus infection in American children shows it’s much less likely to cause severe illness.
Children under the age of 18 are far less likely to even be diagnosed with COVID-19 than adults. Although people under the age of 18 make up 22% of the U.S. population, they made up just 1.7% of cases recorded between Feb. 12 and April 2, the new study found.
Even if kids were made ill by the new coronavirus, that illness was typically mild, said a team led by Lucy McNamara, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 Response Team.
Just under 6% of kids with COVID-19 ended up in the hospital, the study found, compared to 10% of adults aged 18 to 64.
And while every pediatric death is a tragedy, only three of the 2,572 children with COVID-19 covered by the study died, the team reported.
Even the usual symptoms of COVID-19 appear less frequently in kids, McNamara’s team noted.
“Relatively few children with COVID-19 are hospitalized, and fewer children than adults experienced fever, cough or shortness of breath,” the CDC group found.
When cases among kids are severe, most often the child has an underlying medical condition, such as asthma, heart ailments or suppressed immune systems (for example, due to cancer therapies), the study authors noted.
The new report was published April 6, 2020, in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.