Children more resistant to Covid-19: Lancet study

The majority of children with Covid-19 in 26 countries had good clinical outcomes compared to adults, according to a review of studies that evaluated research published during the first four months of the pandemic.

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Scientists, including those from the University of Texas in the U.S., conducted the largest systematic review of children and young adults to date with Covid-19, evaluating clinical data on more than 7,500 people.

In the findings, published in the journal EClinicalMedicine, a journal of The Lancet, they said that almost a fifth of the pediatric population with Covid-19 exhibited no symptoms, and 21 percent of children exhibited irregular marks of injury. tissue in the lungs. X-rays.

The researchers said 5.6 percent of the children tested in the studies suffered from co-infections, such as the flu, in addition to Covid-19, and just over 3 percent were admitted to intensive care units.

Seven deaths were reported, according to review research.

“Our data is compiled from 131 studies and covers 7,780 patients spanning the pediatric age spectrum,” said study lead author Alvaro Moreira of UT.

The research reported the most common symptoms, quantified the laboratory results, and described the characteristics of the children’s X-ray examination with Covid-19.

“In addition, we summarize the treatments that were administered and provide an initial overview of a handful of patients who met the criteria of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for multisystemic inflammatory syndrome in children. “Moreira said.

According to the study, the most frequent symptoms, similar to the adult population, were fever and cough, which are found in 59 and 56 percent of the pediatric population, respectively.

In 233 individuals, the scientists said a previous medical history was observed with 152 children in the group who had compromised immune systems or had underlying respiratory or heart disease.

“Although we are hearing about severe forms of the disease in children, this occurs in very rare circumstances,” Moreira said.

Based on laboratory measurements seen in the reviewed studies, the scientists said that pediatric Covid-19 patients had abnormal levels of molecules that signify inflammation in the body such as creatine kinase, interleukin-6, and procalcitonin.

According to the scientists, only a small number of patients complied with the inclusion of the multisystemic inflammatory syndrome in children.

They said that the disease in these children paralleled the extreme forms of Covid-19 seen in adults.

“Children with systemic inflammation had a significant decrease in the number of lymphocytes in the blood,” Moreira said.

He added that Covid-positive children who did not have the extreme form of the disease had 42 percent of immune cells called lymphocytes in their blood, compared to 11 percent in children with multisystem syndrome.

Scientists said kidney failure was seen in nine pediatric patients, liver failure also in nine, and shock in 19.

They said 42 patients required mechanical ventilation.

While the review research provides evidence that children with Covid-19 have a better overall prognosis, the scientists said more studies are needed to confirm the findings and “better understand which patients are at increased risk of developing severe inflammation and failure. multi-organ. “