The spread of the new coronavirus has forced all nations to reckon with the health of their own healthcare systems. The virus has extracted the greatest toll of our elderly – not only because they have weaker immune systems but also because many of them haven’t been able to access good-quality healthcare soon enough. The rest of the population plays the important part of transmitting the virus.

However, conversations about the virus’s spread have focused predominantly on these two demographic groups at the expense of a third: the children.

In a study published in the journal Nature Medicine on March 13, Chinese researchers observed that severe symptoms of COVID-19 were less common among children than in adults. Children who had been infected in China mostly either displayed mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, and only one of them died.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also said that even though all children won’t develop severe symptoms as adults, they will be affected by the virus and potentially spread it to others. The agency also admitted that at present, it knows very little about the full extent to which COVID-19 affects children in general.

In another preprint research article publicised by the official journal of the American Academy of Paediatrics, researchers reported that around 90% of child-patients in China were asymptomatic or had mild to moderate symptoms.

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