Children and young people are far less likely than adults to get severe cases of COVID-19 infection, and death from the pandemic disease among children is exceptionally rare, according to UK research published on Thursday.
A study of COVID-19 patients admitted to 138 hospitals in Britain found that less than 1% were children, and of those fewer than 1% – or six in total – died, all of whom were already suffering serious illness or underlying health disorders.
“We can be quite sure that COVID in itself is not causing harm to children on a significant scale,” said Malcolm Semple, a professor of outbreak medicine and child health at Britain’s University of Liverpool, who co-led the work.
“The highest level message really has to be that (in children with COVID-19) severe disease is rare, and death is vanishingly rare – and that (parents) should be comforted that their children are not at direct harm by going back into school,” he told a briefing.
Global data on the spread of the coronavirus pandemic shows that children and young people make up only 1-2% of cases of COVID-19 worldwide. The vast majority of reported infections in children are mild or asymptomatic, with few recorded deaths.
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