Updated: April 22, 2021 10:42 IST
Southampton [England], April 22 (ANI): Children with weakened immune systems have not shown an increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 infection despite commonly exhibiting symptoms, a new study suggests.
During a 16-week period dealing with the first wave of the pandemic, researchers from Southampton conducted an observational study of nearly 1500 immunosuppressed children – defined as needing annual flu vaccinations because of underlying conditions or medication. Children, their parents or guardians completed weekly questionnaires to provide information about any symptoms they had experienced, COVID-19 test results and the impact of the pandemic on their daily lives.
The results, published at BMJ Open, showed that COVID-19 infection symptoms are common in many children – with over two-thirds of participants reporting at least one symptom and one-third experiencing three or more more symptoms at the same time. One hundred and ten patients with symptoms underwent viral PCR tests, none of which tested positive.
Dr Hans de Graaf of the University of Southampton who led the research said, “Although we cannot be certain of the prevalence of COVID-19 among the children who took part, adherence tests were only carried out when patients were admitted and told to these children. strict shading, we can assume that any infections would have been mild as none of these high-risk patients needed hospital admissions. “
More than half of patients or parents reported high levels of anxiety at the beginning of the study and despite the absence of severe symptoms, these scores remained consistently high throughout the study period.
The researchers believe that these results indicate that widespread symptom screening for early detection of COVID-19 is not going to be useful in these cases because children may have frequent symptoms in the upper respiratory tract likely to be unrelated to COVID-19.
Dr de Graaf continued, “This study was the first to observe the impact of the pandemic on children with compromised immune systems. During the first wave of the pandemic, many may have been shadowing so our results suggest that the shading measures are effective or that children with intensive immunity are less affected by COVID-19 than adults, just like healthy children. “
The report also concludes that the continuing high level of anxiety among participants highlights the need to clearly define and communicate COVID-19 risk in children and young people, especially as lock-down restrictions facilitate. (ANI)