Kids and COVID. First thing, kids also are vulnerable to COVID 19, don’t forget. While the news is all about the elderly or those with underlying health condition such as diabetes or obesity, kids also get infected. Good news is that nationwide, they comprise less than 2% of all infections. I personally know of a married couple who were both infected and recovered (not without feeling lousy for a very long time) and none of their three kids even had antibodies! I say “Wow!” Even with household contact these kids were not affected. Maybe there’s something about kids that make them more resistant to the virus than adults. (Hypothesis from my head that has no proof: it is suggested that Angiotensin II receptors in the lungs are a receptor for the virus and they are upregulated in smokers–maybe kids have less AT II?). This resistant should not be counted on as kids do indeed get infected. Perhaps they have less infection because we are more protective of them than we are ourselves. I, happily, do not see kids in grocery stores. So we still need to be vigilant with our kids.
Second thing – Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). Bad thing. It is a syndrome akin to Kawasaki’s disease which is an inflammatory condition of the blood vessels. Kids get persistent fevers, skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, confusion, kidney, and heart problems. In NYC where this has been most described, of a 100 kids with this disorder, 55 tested positive for COVID-19 and it is assumed they had recovered from that illness. So this appears to be a post-infectious syndrome in children that has been now reported across the world and across the United States. Sadly these kiddos get sick and often need hospitalization. Treatment is with IV gamma globulin, steroids, and supportive care. Despite how sick they get, there has been very little mortality associated with it thus far (thankfully). Three reported deaths in NYC. If it’s your kid, it no longer matters how rare it is.
So kids and COVID-19. They continue to be at less risk than older people, but there is still risk. We have to see how this MIS-C pans out. Let’s continue to be careful out there with our kids.