All you’ve probably read lately is a lot of scary things regarding the Coronavirus (don’t worry, I have too) and my biggest concern has been the well-being of my children. If you are in the same boat, this actually might help put your mind to ease (even just a little)…
Turns out, The Coronavirus Has Infected Very Few Babies and Children. Here’s One Theory Why.
According to the CDC, “most confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported from China have occurred in adults. Infections in children have been reported, including in very young children. From limited information published from past Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreaks, infection among children was relatively uncommon.”
Out of over 82,000 cases, only 100 or so have actually been in children. Isn’t that just crazy?
A small study, published in JAMA, even charted the cases of infants hospitalized with the virus in China. They found only 9 children who had contracted the illness from a family member and among those, none developed severe complications from the disease.
So, why is this?
Well, nobody knows for certain why but the theory is that children are more immune to the virus due to being exposed to viruses of this kind more often.
A New York Times health reporter, Donald G. McNeil Jr. recently shared his theory on a recent episode of the publication’s podcast The Daily saying:
“Kids have enormous numbers of these mild ‘coronaviruses’ because that’s the typical cold virus,” he said. “Kids are the ones who get colds. You go to kindergarten, you come back with a cold. So they may have some immunity from having somewhat similar but mild viruses circulating in the child population whereas all of us who had those viruses as kids, our immunities to those have waned.”
I mean, that totally makes sense. Kids get sick from other kids – mine always have. So, that could help build their immunities making them less likely to contract the Coronavirus or get a much milder form of it.
Apparently, most kids get nothing more than mild fevers much like they would a common cold:
“So far, it appears that more than 80 percent of the infections are pretty mild, no more severe than the common cold,” Cody Meissner, an infectious-disease expert and professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine, told NPR. “And children appear to have even milder infections than adults.”
So, there you have it – we can relax just a little bit. Sure, we still need to protect our kids and help them learn proper hand washing but it gives me peace of mind knowing my kids are less likely to get super ill from this virus.