Coronavirus (COVID-19) Canada update: How the pandemic affects kids

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Canada update: How the pandemic affects kids
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Canada update: How the pandemic affects kids

As COVID-19 continues to affect more Canadians, many parents are not just worried about themselves — but also their children.

In Ontario, there are 17 new COVID-19 cases, including a baby boy. Health officials said the baby is under the age of one and is listed as having contracted the coronavirus through close contact.

A source within the Alberta government confirmed to Global News that a child in Calgary has also been confirmed positive for the virus, too.

As of March 12, there are 140 confirmed cases of COVID-19 — the illness caused by the novel coronavirus — in Canada, according to Health Canada and provincial health officials.

While the news of the two Canadian children is concerning, research suggests kids have been largely spared by the virus.

A recent report published in JAMA Network said that coronavirus cases in children “have been rare” and the median age of patients is between 49 and 56 years of age.

Another recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at 425 patients with coronavirus and found no cases in children under the age of 15.

The WHO has reported that 2.4 per cent of reported cases were children under 18 and just 0.2 per cent of cases were children who became critically ill.

“We see relatively few cases among children,” World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in February.

How coronavirus affects kids

It’s a mystery why COVID-19 isn’t following the pattern of other viruses, like the seasonal flu which is especially lethal for the very young and old, said Dawn Bowdish, the Canada Research Chair in aging and immunity at McMaster University.

“With almost all infectious diseases, young kids get them because they don’t have any immune experience. When it is the first time they see it, they don’t have anything to protect them. This is very different and nobody can tell why right now.”

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