COVID-19 and kids’ wellness: Your concerns answered

Christel Deskins

© Francis Ferland/CBC As students across Canada head back to university, this is what we know about COVID-19 and youngsters. This information is latest as of Sept. 11. As colleges re-open up throughout the region and the coronavirus pandemic enters its seventh month in Canada, we spoke to Dr. Fatima Kakkar, […]

a group of people standing around a bus: As students across Canada head back to school, here's what we know about COVID-19 and children.

© Francis Ferland/CBC
As students across Canada head back to university, this is what we know about COVID-19 and youngsters.

  • This information is latest as of Sept. 11.

As colleges re-open up throughout the region and the coronavirus pandemic enters its seventh month in Canada, we spoke to Dr. Fatima Kakkar, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at CHU Sainte-Justine in Montreal, about the most up-to-date evidence on transmission of COVID-19 amongst young children. 

Kakkar is the principal investigator on a study by the Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Application which is capturing medical data throughout the state on children below 18 who ended up hospitalized with COVID-19. The team posted preliminary results this 7 days about the severity of COVID-19 in little ones in Canada. 

Have any youngsters died of COVID-19 in Canada?

According to the Paediatric Surveillance Plan, there are no small children under the age of 18 that have died from COVID-19 in Canada.

Have any small children been admitted to the intensive care due to COVID-19? 

Of course, there have been youngsters admitted to ICU owing to COVID-19 across Canada. The Surveillance System has info on 13 pediatric individuals across Canada, but Kakkar claims there could possibly be up to 29 kids who have been admitted so significantly. 

In comparison, 2341 older people in excess of 19 have been admitted to ICU in Canada as of Sept. 10. 

“I can discuss from a private working experience that it is not at all the identical illness that it is in older people and that they haven’t had the similar degree of complications and they have not necessary higher degrees of ventilation or really long,” Kakkar claimed.

How does this admittance price compare to other conditions?

Frequently, Kakkar suggests, COVID is considerably milder in young ones than other regimen viruses.

“For case in point, very last year, through flu season, we had fatalities from flu listed here in Canada. We experienced hundreds of ICU admissions from flu in Canada. It is been a quite, extremely different illness than what we have been anticipating,” she said.

What are the indications of COVID-19 in little ones?

Usually, the most popular symptom in little ones is fever, mentioned Kakkar. Additional symptoms contain an equal mix of respiratory indications like cough, sore throat, and digestive ailments like vomiting and diarrhea.

“The signs or symptoms have been really moderate, and it hasn’t been the same sort of respiratory disease or vascular disease that we have found in adults in which right absent they have experienced hassle respiration,” she reported. 

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In simple fact, she says, in some of the hospitalizations of youngsters with COVID-19, the people experienced been admitted to the clinic with an additional ailment like an arm fracture or appendicitis.

Are there lingering outcomes in children who have experienced COVID-19?

One particular of the principal put up-infection issues for small children all around the globe has been cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in little ones (MIS-C). 

According to the B.C. Centre for Condition Management, MIS-C is likely an exaggerated immune reaction, foremost to extreme widespread swelling. 

Symptoms can include rashes, fever and inflammation of the palms and toes, according to the BCCDC.

There have been a “couple of” cases in Canada, while scientists are however amassing and analyzing that info at this level, and the correct variety of instances is still becoming determined, said Kakkar. Results are predicted in the following couple of months.

“The difficulty is producing the distinct website link to COVID since up right until now, we have not had easy obtain to serology tests,” which would display whether or not anyone has had COVID-19 in the earlier, she claimed.

“But there is some circumstances exactly where they have been capable to website link it to COVID.”

Schools are opening across the country. Will this lead to much more scenarios of COVID-19 amid youngsters?

Kakkar suggests for the duration of the initially wave, the bulk of situations of COVID-19 in children had been these who bought it from their dad and mom who ended up essential employees and had to be exterior of the dwelling. The circumstance rely between children may have generally been lessen for the reason that they were being typically isolating at household, and it could raise as little ones leave property.

“It is reasonable to assume that there will be scenarios in youngsters now that little ones are out and about in the college placing,” she said. 

Even so, she additional, the severity of COVID illness in children is moderate in contrast to quite substantially each other respiratory disease that they may possibly have long gone via in earlier yrs.

Do young children transmit COVID-19 easily?

“We you should not have 100 for each cent of that reply,” said Kakkar. 

Small children are ordinarily “great vectors of an infection,” she reported, generally for the reason that they are unable to necessarily handle all of their steps and effortlessly contact their noses, faces, and other surfaces. 

“That explained, you know, we you should not really quite understand the dynamics of transmission, for illustration, how significantly virus just about every individual could possibly have, how easily they transmit it,” she stated, noting anecdotal examples of families where one little one was contaminated and the other one particular remained unaffected. 

a box that has a sign on the side of a building: Measures like hand washing and physical distancing continue to be essential, and will help protect children from more than just COVID-19, say experts.

© Thilelli Chouikrat/Radio-Canada
Steps like hand washing and physical distancing continue to be vital, and will aid secure kids from more than just COVID-19, say authorities.

“We have to be beneath the assumption that youngsters will probably unfold it because we want most people to get their precautions but I really don’t assume it truly is a supplied,” she mentioned. 

Kakkar also observed that the further safety measures for COVID — hand-washing, mask-putting on, and physical distancing — also prevent the spread of other conditions and infections like flu, influenza and ear bacterial infections.

“We’ve hardly ever had such strict measures in area, so we might really see a lot less of these other widespread viral ailments,” she said.

“We’re in for the extended-haul. These steps get the job done.”

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