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expert reaction to study looking at the symptoms of children infected with SARS-CoV-2

A study published in Scientific Reports looks at the symptoms of paediatric COVID-19 patients in the U.S.


Dr Julian Tang, Honorary Associate Professor/Clinical Virologist, University of Leicester, said:

“We’ve known for some time that children can be infected asymptomatically with SARS-COV-2, e.g. this earlier study from South Korea found that 22% of 91 children were asymptomatically infected:

“Similar one of our studies with our local hospital paediatric team also found about 20% (16/80) asymptomatic SARS-COV-2 in children, over 1 year of paediatric admissions (paper in press).

“This new and much larger study finds a much higher (~75%) proportion of children without typical COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath.

“However, this higher atypical symptomatic proportion may well be explained by the fact that community (non-hospitalised) children are also included in the study – which are more representative of the majority of otherwise healthy children that are attending school, for example.

“More importantly, these findings also raise concerns about the spread of the virus via infected children in society, when most may not exhibit typical COVID-19 symptoms.”



A retrospective cohort study of 12,306 pediatric COVID19 patients in the United States’ by Parcha et al. was published in Scientific Reports at 16:00 UK time Thursday 13th May.

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-89553-1



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