Covid-19 A Special Scenario In Children

Tharushi Fernando, Correspondent Australia

June 16, 2020


Covid-19, so far has infected around 5.3 million people globallycausing 343, 122 deaths. This virus is relatively new and has several unique properties unlike any other virus that has led many research teams to adamantly research on Covid-19.

In the wake of these investigations, Covid-19 has proven to be a unique case in children. First of all, several studies have found that children are less susceptible to Covid-19 and are also seen as low carriers of the virus. For instance, the Chinese centre for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that out of the 44,672 confirmed Covid-19 cases in February 2020, only 416 (0.9%) cases accounted for children 0 to 10 years of age and 549 (12%) in 10 to 19 years of age children.

However, the major reason does not direct to how the pathogenesis of the virus is different in children but to the fact that children in comparison to are less exposed to outdoor activities especially international travel. Another preventative measure is that children, unlike adults have a more active innate immune system since they have healthier respiratory tracks, and which have not been exposed to harmful gases from either cigarette smoke or air pollutants.

Especially, for a disease like Covid-19 which is a respiratory syndrome having a healthier respiratory track is advantageous to combat the virus. A few studies have pointed out that children also contain more angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) receptors than adults. These receptors are involved in the protective mechanism in the lungs and also the target of most respiratory viruses. As SARS-Cov-2 virus does bind to these receptors, children having more ACE2 receptors will help them fight off viruses much more efficiently and effectively.

On the other hand, though children are less susceptible to Covid-19, they present a rare case where children infected with Covid-19 are highly likely to develop symptoms similar to a severe form of Kawasaki-like disease. Kawasaki disease is a rare paediatric disease that mainly leads to rashes, conjunctivitis and coronary artery inflammation. Unfortunately, currently, no studies highlight the reasoning behind this phenomenon.