Children and youths usually have a mild course of the disease if they have been infected with the coronavirus. Many do not even get any symptoms at all. The mortality rate for otherwise healthy children who fall ill with covid-19 is less than 0.0003%. Thus, it is no more dangerous for children than the usual flu.
According to a study by Jonas F Ludvigsson, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, no child died of covid-19 during the first wave in Sweden. The study included close to two million children up to the age of 15. 15 children were cared for in the ICU for MIS-C a multiinflammatory syndrome. The average length of care for those in the ICU was four days. Four of the 15 children had underlying diseases. We should also consider the fact that the latest variant of the virus gives even lower risk of serious illness.
Why do children get such mild illness?
There are several interacting explanations. Through recurrent colds especially in the toddler years, many children have so-called cross-immunity. That’s because several cold viruses also are a kind of coronavirus and can provide protection against Covid-19. Another explanation is that children’s immune systems are more effective and do not work in the same way that adults’ immune system do.
Source: Ovanligt med iva-vård av covidsjuka barn – trots öppna skolor, SVT, https://www.svt.se/nyheter/inrikes/studie-ovanligt-med-iva-vard-av-covidsjuka-barn-trots-oppna-skolor
Source: Immunsvaret vid covid-19 – vad vet vi?, Vetenskap och hälsa, https://www.vetenskaphalsa.se/immunsvaret-vid-covid-19-vad-vet-vi/
Source: Covid-19 inte dödligare för barn än influensa, SVD, https://www.svd.se/covid-19-inte-dodligare-for-barn-an-influensa