Severe or fatal COVID-19 very rare among children: Study

New Delhi (NVI): The severe cases of COVID-19 and deaths from the virus are far less and rare in children and young people than adults, according to a new study.

The study conducted on COVID-19 patients admitted to 138 hospitals in Britain shows that less than 1 per cent were children and of those fewer than 1 per cent or 6 in total died – all of whom were already suffering from serious illness or underlying health disorders.

Malcolm Semple, a professor at Britain’s University of Liverpool, who co-led the study said, “We can be quite sure that COVID-19 in itself is not causing harm to children on a significant scale.”

“The highest-level message really has to be that (in children with Covid-19) severe disease is rare, and death is vanishingly rare and that parents should be comforted that their children are not at direct harm by going back into school,” he added.

According to global data on the spread of the coronavirus shows that children and young people make up only 1-2 per cent of cases of COVID-19 worldwide. The vast majority of reported infections in children are mild or asymptomatic, with few recorded deaths.

In the study, published in the BMJ medical journal, a team of researchers looked at data from babies and children under 19 who were hospitalised with COVID-19 between January 17 and July 3.

Furthermore, the six children who died all had profound comorbidity, the researchers said, and this was a strikingly low fatality rate compared with a 27 per cent across all age groups – from 0-106 years – of COVID-19 patients hospitalised in the same period.

The study also found that the overall risk of children getting severe COVID-19 is less, the researchers said adding that, children of Black ethnicity and those with obesity are disproportionately affected, as previous studies in adults have found.