What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Reported symptoms include fever, cough, body aches, sore throat, headache, and diarrhea. The WHO has estimated that 1 in 6 people with COVID-19 will have a more severe illness that will include shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. Now, those milder symptoms could also describe this year’s influenza illness or even just the common cold. The takeaway message here…not every cough, fever or body ache is COVID-19. However, if you have fever, cough and any difficulty breathing, you need to call your medical provider immediately for guidance on where to be evaluated.
Is COVID-19 causing illness in children?
As a pediatrician and a mom, this is one of the most important things that I am keeping an eye on. To this point and in looking at data from China as well as across the US, the number of cases of COVID-19 in children has been dramatically low. YEA! Do a happy dance!! Now, this is not to say that there have not been some children hospitalized with COVID-19 and even several deaths, but the rate of children becoming seriously ill has been drastically lower than what we are seeing in the adult population. The reason for this trend in children is puzzling and yet another aspect of COVID-19 that we are trying to figure out. Perhaps a child’s immune system is handling this virus differently than an adult. Perhaps because children see other strains of coronavirus all the time (i.e. the common cold), they have some protection for this novel strain. Either way, for now, it seems that kiddos are doing ok through this pandemic.
How about those playdates?
I have had plenty of families asking me if playdates with friends are ok during social distancing. If we view this time just as we would a surprise snow day or summer break, then we have missed the mark for social distancing. If we have any hope of slowing the spread of the COVID-19 (notice I said slowing the spread and not stopping the spread), then we all must work together to limit our contact with others. While calling several friends to see about a playdate for a group of children is certainly a tempting break from trying to navigate the waters of e-learning, I really advise against it.