Children are not vulnerable to being infected with COVID-19.
In the first of the US’ 2020 presidential debates, US President Donald Trump responded to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s stance on reopening the economy and schools, claiming that children are not vulnerable to COVID-19.
“He wants to shut down the country. We had to because we didn’t know anything about the disease. Now we’ve found that elderly people with heart problems and diabetes and different problems are very, very vulnerable. We learned a lot. Young children aren’t...Even younger people aren’t. We’ve learned a lot,” Trump said.
Children are still at risk of being infected with COVID-19, and children who don’t show symptoms can become asymptomatic carriers.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded that as of September 29, 2020, about 1.8% and 6.7% of over 5.1 million coronavirus cases in the United States were contracted by children not older than 4 and minors between the ages of 5 to 17, respectively.
While hospitalization rates for children are lower than they are for adults, a report analyzing pediatric COVID-19 hospitalization data from 14 states found that 1 in 3 children who are hospitalized is admitted to the intensive care unit.
Children with certain underlying conditions may also be at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, compared to other children. The CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) noted that according to current findings, conditions such as chronic respiratory illness, obesity, and diabetes, among others, can increase the risk of severe illness in children.
The CDC also warned that severe cases of COVID-19 in children may cause other complications such as respiratory failure, myocarditis, and acute renal failure, among others.
As children are still vulnerable to COVID-19 infections, both the CDC and WHO recommended monitoring their health and teaching them good hygiene practices. – Margarita Gonzalez, Loreben Tuquero/Rappler.com
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