Most children with coronavirus have mild symptoms

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Most children who contract the novel coronavirus will recover within two weeks and display only mild symptoms while ill, according to a preliminary study published this week.

The study, conducted by researchers in Italy and published Wednesday in JAMA Pediatrics, reviewed 18 studies published between early December 2019 and March 3. Overall, the researchers looked at data from 1,065 pediatric patients who were mostly from China and all under the age of 19.

With the expectation of one 13-month-old infant who had a severe case of COVID-19 and another 30-hour-old baby who developed “mild respiratory distress” after contracting the virus from his or her mother, most of the pediatric patients reviewed had fever, dry cough and fatigue or were asymptomatic. Though some of the children were hospitalized, they generally only required supportive care and recovered within one to two weeks, the researchers said.

“In general, pediatric patients with COVID-19 had a good prognosis and recovered within 1 to 2 weeks after disease onset, and cases of pediatric death from COVID-19 were not reported in the age range of 0 to 9 years,” the researchers wrote, though one death was reported in the 10 to 19 age group, they noted.

The researchers acknowledged their limitations in the study, noting it occurred over a “brief 3-month period” and mainly only included pediatric patients in China.

“As a result, we could not assess possible clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic differences, and compare pediatric results with data from adults with SARS-CoV-2 infection,” among other limitations, they wrote.

“The quick worldwide spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the lack of European and U.S. data on pediatric patients require further epidemiologic and clinical studies to identify possible preventive and therapeutic strategies,” they added.

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