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Coronavirus disease 2019 in children

April 20, 2020

Author: Ran D. Goldman, MD FRCPC
Publication: Canadian Family Physician

Ran D. Goldman, MD FRCPC, contributed to the article Coronavirus disease 2019 in children in the journal Canadian Family Physician.

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) illness that started spreading in humans in the end of 2019, now called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is a global pandemic that has affected millions of people, some of whom are children. The death toll from this pandemic has been considerable and has surpassed previous global pandemics such as the 2002-2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Severe respiratory manifestations have been the mainstay of illness in adults, with what seems to be rapid deterioration necessitating intubation and mechanical ventilation. Children have also faced a burden of illness from COVID-19, although current data in Canada suggest that only about 5% of patients testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 have been children, and only a few needed hospitalization. There are several theories as to why children have been less sick with COVID-19 compared with adults.

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