Effects of Covid-19 in Children
The impact of Covid-19 is milder on children than it is on adults. Children are usually asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
Dr. Neeta Jain (Paediatrician, Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, Seattle, USA) gives four reasons why she believes children fare better than adults when dealing with Covid-19:-
- Firstly, although we call it a unique virus, its basic structure is similar to that of other upper respiratory diseases such as rhinovirus, adenovirus and because a child’s body knows how to fight it, their innate immunity is slightly stronger than that of adults
- Secondly, children don’t go out and mingle as much as adults do. They either play amongst themselves or stay at home and so there is a difference in the exposure.
- Thirdly, children have been given a lot of vaccines such as the BCG vaccine and the MMR vaccine that increases the T cell immunity which sometimes gives protection.
- Finally, children like to eat more fruits, vegetables, and carbs and are naturally inclined to a balanced diet. Additionally, parents supplement their diet with milk and keep the children hydrated by giving them ample water.
The combination of the aforementioned factors is what keeps the children better protected.
Dr. Jain attributes the current rise in the cases of children to the mutation of the Covid-19 virus. She states that the B116 and the B117 variants are more virulent and infectious and so are now visible in children. Additionally, because of an increase in awareness children are being tested more leading to a rise in the number of cases.