All U.K. Child Covid Fatalities Had Underlying Conditions: Study

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All the children who have died from Covid-19 in the U.K. had “profound” underlying medical conditions, according to a study suggesting that healthy school-age patients are at very limited risk of severe disease outcomes.

The report adds to previous indications that youthful patients suffer less from the disease than older people, but showed that Black or obese children are at a marginally higher risk. Of the 651 cases reviewed, 42% involved underlying health conditions, but only 18% overall required intensive care. There were six deaths, all involving serious pre-existing conditions.

“It is vanishingly rare to have severe disease in children,” said Calum Semple, professor of child health and outbreak medicine at the University of Liverpool. Even for Black or obese children, the risk remains “tiny,” he said.

“If you are a Black parent in Glasgow or London, your kids should still go back to school,” he added.

According to the study, published in the journal BMJ, 52 of the children suffered a “multisystem inflammatory syndrome” that has been linked to coronavirus patients. “Kids who get this sort of thing often end up with problems in their hearts,” Semple added.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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