A lot of things we have learned about novel coronavirus symptoms for the past 6 months or so.
Some of them are concerned about how children can be silent carriers and infect others without them knowing.
This article compiled some of the information vital to keep your family safe during this trying time.
Babies and coronavirus, how do they get infected?
Before jumping into some tips that could help you, it might be useful to know a little bit of information about novel coronavirus.
Just like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS), the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a strain of coronavirus (like its name suggested).
There are currently 7 strains of coronavirus that are known to infect humans.
Most of them only caused a group of coronavirus symptoms which is usually referred to as a common cold.
As they stay mainly in the respiratory system, they can be spread from person to person directly by coughing and sneezing.
However, there are a bunch of other indirect ways of being infected by COVID-19.
One of them is to touch something which has been touched by someone who experienced coronavirus symptoms.
In terms of clinical presentation, it’s similar between an infected adult and an infected baby.
However, babies usually carry much more mild coronavirus symptoms.
Some of them are
- Runny nose
- Gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea
Is my baby in danger if tested positive?
According to experts, compared to other age groups, babies do well in terms of coronavirus symptoms.
They are less likely to get severe symptoms which would require intensive treatment.
Looking at the statistics in Malaysia itself, children make up a smaller number among those who have been confirmed positive COVID-19.
There is limited data to prove that children under any age group have a higher likelihood to be critically ill with the disease.
However, we shouldn’t take this for granted.
A study which has been conducted in China has found that only 6% out of 2,100 confirmed paediatric cases experience critical illness.
This is as opposed to adults which are at a higher percentage risk for experiencing critical illness (18.5%).
There is no definite explanation for what’s going on and why coronavirus symptoms in adults are far worse than what has been experienced by children.
However, some experts postulated that this might be due to unfamiliarity to the virus which makes them less likely to experience ‘cytokine storm’.
Cytokine storm is an exaggerated immune response which causes damage to the host as well.
There are some rare occasions in which children developed atypical coronavirus symptoms that resembled Kawasaki disease called paediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C).
When it comes to the novel coronavirus, there are a lot of grey areas which require research and observation.
So far kids have fared really well with the virus.
Spreading the virus to other people, can they?
Kids have the same risk of spreading the virus-like any adults.
In fact, they can be a potent spreader as they rarely experience critical symptoms and a great number of them can get by without coronavirus symptoms.
Women who are pregnant are unlikely to pass the virus to her baby vertically.
However, there are a few reports in The United States that detect positive cases among preterm newborn whose mothers are COVID-19 positive.
This can occur directly after birth but we should discount the notion that the infection can be passed vertically, no matter how small the percentage is.
You need to handle your baby with care and make sure to wash your hand before and after handling them.
The novel coronavirus is extremely contagious and research has shown that they can stay outside longer than any other strains of coronavirus.
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