Most coronavirus cases in kids are mild, but some are at risk for worse, study confirms

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The majority of children infected with the coronavirus experience mild to moderate symptoms, although a small percentage have severe complications, according to a study published Monday.

The study examined 2,143 confirmed or suspected pediatric cases of the coronavirus in China, where the pandemic started, and is the largest analysis yet of the illness in children. For the most part, it confirms what doctors have already noticed: that the coronavirus seems to mostly be sparing children, for reasons that are not entirely understood.

Of the few children who do develop serious cases, those under 5 are the most at-risk, with infants under 1 year of age at the greatest danger, according to the study, which was published online in the journal Pediatrics.

But even those types of cases were few and far between. A total of 94.1 percent of the children were asymptomatic or had mild or moderate cases, and only 5.9 percent of them had critical or severe cases, significantly lower than the 18.5 percent of adult patients who fell into that category in China during the same time frame, according to the study authors. Just one child died of the illness in China: a 14-year-old boy in Hubei, the province where the outbreak originated.