COVID-19 in children: what did we learn from the first wave?
journal contributionposted on 21.10.2020, 11:25 by Aliki Bogiatzopoulou, Huw Mayberry, Daniel B Hawcutt, Elizabeth Whittaker, Alasdair Munro, Damian Roland, Justus Simba, Christopher Gale, Susanna Felsenstein, Elissa Abrams, Caroline B Jones, Ian Lewins, Carlos R Rodriguez-Martinez, Ricardo M Fernandes, Philippa A Stilwell, Olivia Swann, Sunil Bhopal, Ian Sinha, Rachel Harwood
A pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome - coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has caused high rates of mortality, predominantly in adults. Children are significantly less affected by SARS-CoV-2 with far lower rates of recorded infections in children compared to adults, milder symptoms in the majority of children and very low mortality rates. A suspected late manifestation of the disease, paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome - temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 (PIMS-TS), has been seen in small numbers of children and has a more severe disease course than acute SARS-CoV-2. The pandemic has meant that children around the world have been kept off school, isolated from their extended family and friends and asked to stay inside. The UK has just been declared as being in an economic recession and unemployment rates are increasing. These indirect effects of SARS-CoV-2 are likely to have a significant impact on many children for years to come. Consolidating the knowledge that has accumulated during the first wave of this pandemic is essential for recognising the clinical signs, symptoms and effective treatment strategies for children; identifying children who may be at increased risk of severe SARS-CoV-2 infection; planning the safe delivery of healthcare and non-health related services that are important for childrens' wellbeing; and engaging in, and developing, research to address the things that are not yet known. This article summarises the evidence that has emerged from the early phase of the pandemic and offers an overview for those looking after children or planning services.