“We see relatively few cases of infection among children,” said pediatrician Buddy Creech of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. At the same time, he explained why children have only mild symptoms: “Lungs that have not had inflammation are much less hospitable to any virus. Therefore, they are much more resistant to new coronavirus infections. ”
Also, World Health Organization (WHO) CEO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned a small number of coronavirus infections among children in mid-February. When there were 72,000 Covid-19 patients (currently 81,000) in China, only one percent was children under the age of ten. And there was none among the victims. “That’s very strange,” said pediatrician Buddy Creech.
He mentioned that in most respiratory diseases, the victim’s curve is U-shaped, with the most serious cases being the youngest and the oldest. “The new coronavirus causing Covid-19 seems to have reversed it,” he said. Further investigation refuted speculation that children would have immunity to SARS-CoV-2. They just don’t get the disease serious.
“Children get infected just like adults,” said Justin Lessler of Bloomberg’s School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Lessler was one of the leading researchers involved in the Charbin Institute of Technology in Shenzhen and the Shenzhen Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Shenzhen Wednesday detected the first case of new coronavirus infection on January 8. Therefore, it began to monitor people arriving from the most affected province of Hubei, which lay 1100 km away. It detected 391 cases of infection and identified 1286 people who were in close contact with the infected.
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It tested all people who came into contact with the infected, including those without symptoms. It was found that children under the age of nine who had encountered the virus were infected as often as other age groups – in seven to eight percent of cases. But far less often they had severe symptoms. Many had no symptoms.
However, the data did not show why children had never had severe symptoms. Here it helped to compare it with the SARS epidemic from 2002 to 2003, which claimed the lives of 774 people, with every tenth infected person dying. The youngest victim was 24 years old.
Tests in mice offered explanations. Research has shown that older mice are more susceptible to coronavirus infection. The SARS was in direct proportion – the older the mouse, the more it perished. “We know that viruses that attack the respiratory system depend on the condition of the lungs. As people age, lungs change. Pollen and pollutants are clogged and the body responds with inflammation. The history of inflammation can affect how well you deal with coronaviruses, ”said Wired Virologist and Pediatrician Stanley Perlman.
The hypothesis is also confirmed by Chinese research conducted during the SARS epidemic. He showed that the probability of death was 84 percent higher for those living in a polluted environment than for those in a less polluted area.