Early data suggests children are much less likely than adults to develop severe cases of COVID-19.
Statistics from the Public Health Agency of Canada reveal only 1.4 per cent of 10,467 infected kids and teens ended up in hospital with the disease, compared to 13.5 per cent of 84,979 cases involving all ages.
That amounted to 149 patients younger than 20 who were hospitalized between April 1 and Aug. 26, 2020, including 29 sent to intensive care. There’s been at least one death in the under-20 set linked to complications from the novel coronavirus, a 19-year-old in Quebec who died in August. However there have been no reported COVID-related deaths in children.
The numbers are included in a joint study still underway by the Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program that may ease parent fears about the risks of sending kids back to school, says principal investigator Dr. Fatima Kakkar.
“Really, the kids have been fine,” says Kakkar, pediatric infectious diseases specialist at CHU Sainte-Justine in Montreal.
“We’ve been open two weeks in Quebec and there are cases in kids, but we’re not seeing a jump at all in hospitalizations.”
Preliminary data from the program, a joint effort by PHAC and the Canadian Paediatric Society, focuses on a slightly younger cohort under 18.
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