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British studies indicate children face low risks of severe illness from Covid-19

Three preliminary studies from Britain indicate that children with no pre-existing heath conditions face little danger from the coronavirus. One study found that 251 children in Britain were admitted to intensive care, a risk that the researchers calculated to be 1 in 50,000 chance of being admitted. A second study looked at a rare inflammatory syndrome that children have contracted from the virus, and researchers calculated that risk at one in 38,911. A final study found that 25 children in Britain died from COVID, equating to a 2 in one million risk.

The authors of the study noted that the risk factors for children were similar to those for adults -- diabetes, asthma, and cardiovascular disease. Children with multiple conditions were at higher risk.   Even in those cases, one author noted, "Even when we found higher risks for some groups with severe medical problems, these risks were still very small compared to risks seen in adults."

These studies follow a study from March 2021 indicating that adults living in households with children did not have a statistically significant higher risk of contracting COVID than those living only with adults.  

Together, these two studies indicate that most children are not at risk of either suffering severe symptoms of illness from COVID nor transmitting the disease to adults. The standard of care for youth organizations continues to evolve, but the science is beginning to point to loosened restrictions for children.

Senior author on two of the studies, Professor Russell Viner . . . said: "These new studies show that the risks of severe illness or death from SARS-CoV-2 are extremely low in children and young people. Those young people at higher risk are those who are also at higher risk from any winter virus or other illness—that is, young people with multiple health conditions and complex disabilities. COVID-19 does however increase the risks for people in these groups to a higher degree than for illnesses such as influenza (seasonal flu)."

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covid-19, youth serving organizations

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