COVID-19 in Children from Italy

NEJM: Children with Covid-19 in Pediatric Emergency Departments in Italy

Key points:

  • Children younger than 18 years of age who had Covid-19 composed only 1% of the total number of patients; 11% of these children were hospitalized, and none died
  • The Coronavirus Infection in Pediatric Emergency Departments (CONFIDENCE) study involved a cohort of 100 Italian children younger than 18 years of age with Covid-19 (median age 3.3 years)
    • .Common symptoms were cough (in 44% of the patients) and no feeding or difficulty feeding (in 23%) (especially if <2 years)
    •  Fever, cough, or shortness of breath occurred in 28 of 54 of febrile patients (52%)
    •  Of the 9 patients who received respiratory support, 6 had coexisting conditions

My take: This study provides additional data indicating that severe outcomes are rare in children with Covid-19.

Related article from NY Times: How Coronavirus Mutates and Spreads

An excerpt:

Researchers have found that the coronavirus is mutating relatively slowly compared to some other RNA viruses, in part because virus proteins acting as proofreaders are able to fix some mistakes. Each month, a lineage of coronaviruses might acquire only two single-letter mutations.

In the future, the coronavirus may pick up some mutations that help it evade our immune systems. But the slow mutation rate of the coronavirus means that these changes will emerge over the course of years.

That bodes well for vaccines currently in development for Covid-19. If people get vaccinated in 2021 against the new coronavirus, they may well enjoy a protection that lasts for years.

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