THE MAJORITY of children and teenagers who contract Covid-19 only experience mild symptoms of the virus, according to the latest research.
A new study published in the Lancet Journal, which surveyed symptoms of 582 children and adolescents under the age of the 18 from all over the world, revealed that only a small of subjects experienced anything other than mild symptoms from the disease.
Only 8% of patients (48 in total) required treatment in intensive care and only four patients (less than 1%) died as a result of the virus.
Researchers noted that the study was hospital-based, so might not be an accurate reflection on the impact of the virus on children and teenagers in the wider community, and it's likely that the statistics would improve if patients who weren't admitted to hospital were included in the study.
Ever since the pandemic began, it's been noted by medical specialists around the world that the mortality rate for coronavirus tended to decrease with age, a notion reflected in the study.
Researchers found that the most common symptom reported was fever, with 65% (379) patients reported to have suffered from one.
Just over half of the patients (313) had signs of upper respiratory tract infection.
A quarter had evidence of pneumonia (143). Gastrointestinal symptoms were also reported in around a quarter of the children (128) and some 40 of those did not have any respiratory symptoms.
Some 92 children, most of whom were tested due to close contact with a known Covid-19 case, had no symptoms at all, 16% of all patients in the study.
Dr Florian Götzinger, from Wilhelminenspital in Vienna, Austria, said: "Although Covid-19 affects children less severely than adults overall, our study shows that there are severe cases in all age groups. Those who have pre-existing health issues and children under one month of age were more likely to be admitted to intensive care."
Four patients died during the study period, though two them had pre-existing medical conditions. All of the patients who died were older than 10 years of age. However, the overwhelming majority of patients were alive when the study closed.