What Parents Need to Know About the Coronavirus
The latest on COVID-19, including some encouraging news for parents.
I understand the concern about the coronavirus most of us have right now. After all, it’s dominating the headlines and probably your work and home conversation.
But as a pediatrician, let’s talk first about what’s most important to me and you: our kids.
Fortunately, we have not seen any cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) at Cook Children’s. The other good news is based on confirmed cases of COVID-19 from around the world, kids have been relatively protected from serious illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children are less likely to get Novel coronavirus infections (COVID-19) than adults. And the good news is if they do get it, it’s usually a mild case.
In a study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China, only about 400 cases occurred in children under age 9 with zero deaths.
Most of the kids who caught COVID-19 had mild symptoms, including a fever, runny nose and cough.
“These limited reports suggest that children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms, and though severe complications (acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock) have been reported, they appear to be uncommon,” the CDC wrote.
The CDC adds, “However, as with other respiratory illnesses, certain populations of children may be at increased risk of severe infection, such as children with underlying conditions.”
So now let’s get to some of the basics you may be wondering about.
What is the “Coronavirus?”
COVID-19 is a novel respiratory coronavirus which most often presents with symptoms of fever, coughing and shortness of breath. The rapid spread throughout China (and now outside of China) as well the significant percentage of cases that result in severe illness is what makes COVID-19 a particular concern.