A study of over 1,000 children known to have contracted the novel coronavirus shows that only one developed severe complications of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus, Yahoo Style U.K. reports.
A team of Italian scientists conducted a meta-study — that is, a collective review and analysis of multiple other studies — of coronavirus in children. The 18 studies reviewed by the Italian team revealed that — of 1,065 kids under the age of 19 who tested positive for coronavirus — only one developed severe complications of COVID-19.
The one child who was severely ill was a 13-month-old baby, who battled the disease and lived. They developed pneumonia and were placed on a ventilator. The baby also went into shock and kidney failure, but eventually recovered.
The remaining 1,064 children all had mild symptoms, such as cough or fatigue, or no symptoms at all.
At least two other infants in the study briefly required hospital care as well. A newborn — who was less than 30 hours old — developed “mild respiratory distress” after catching the virus from their mother. Officials believe the baby contracted the virus in the mother’s birth canal, as it is not currently believed the virus can be transmitted in the womb or via breast milk.
A 17-month-old baby also required intravenous fluids after getting dehydrated due to vomiting after contracting the virus. Vomiting is not normally associated with COVID-19.
Two other children were given antibiotics after developing pneumonia. However, it bears noting that antibiotics are prescribed to treat bacterial infections, not viral ones. The Italian team believes the antibiotics were prescribed incorrectly, or that the children may have developed secondary, bacterial infections while battling the coronavirus.
Of the 18 studies reviewed by the Italian team, 17 were conducted in China, where the pandemic is believed to have originated, with the remaining study carried out in Singapore.
The conventional wisdom has been that the novel coronavirus by-and-large spares children.
“As we get older, so do our immune systems, which results in them becoming slower and less effective at fighting off infections that we have previously come across,” Professor Arne Akbar from the British Society for Immunology said of why the disease seems to spare younger people.
That is not to say that children are 100 percent immune from the virus, however. At least one person under 18, who was otherwise healthy and not known to have any underlying health conditions, has died of COVID-19. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, a 16-year-old Parisian teenager died after contracting the coronavirus.