Coronavirus infection in children may not start with a cough: researchers
Researchers warn in a new study Coronavirus infection in children may not start with a cough.
The small study, which is published in the journal Frontiers in Pediatrics, says that gastrointestinal symptoms, as well as a fever and exposure to coronavirus, could indicate COVID-19 infection in children.
Researchers said in a statement, “Children suffering from sickness and diarrhea, coupled with a fever or history of exposure to coronavirus, should be suspected of being infected with COVID-19.”
The research is based on five children with non-respiratory symptoms who were hospitalized at the Wuhan Children’s Hospital in China between Jan. 23 and Feb. 20, 2020. All of the children, whose ages ranged from 2 months to 5.6 years, were later confirmed to have pneumonia and COVID-19.
“These children were seeking medical advice in the emergency department for unrelated problems, for example, one had a kidney stone, another a head trauma,” said the study’s author Dr. Wenbin Li, who works at the Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, in the statement. “All had pneumonia confirmed by chest CT scan before or soon after admission and then confirmed to have COVID-19. While their initial symptoms may have been unrelated, or their COVID-19 symptoms were initially mild or relatively hidden before their admission to hospital, importantly, 4 of the 5 cases had digestive tract symptoms as the first manifestation of this disease.”
“The virus infects people via the ACE2 receptor, which can be found in certain cells in the lungs as well as the intestines,” Li explained. “This suggests that COVID-19 might infect patients not only through the respiratory tract in the form of air droplets, but also through the digestive tract by contact or fecal-oral transmission.”
Li says that more research is needed to confirm the findings.
“We report five cases of COVID-19 in children showing non-respiratory symptoms as the first manifestation after admission to hospital,” he said, in the statement. “The incidence and clinical features of similar cases needs further study in more patients.”
The coronavirus is widely believed to have first emerged in December in the Chinese city of Wuhan. While scientists have not yet worked out how exactly how the novel coronavirus first infected people. Bat were not sold in the Wuhan seafood market because they were in hibernation.
More than 4.27 million coronavirus cases have been diagnosed worldwide, at least 1,370,016 of which are in the U.S., according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The disease has accounted for at least 292,316 deaths around the world, including at least 82,389 people in the U.S.
Of course the mumber of deaths is much higher than the US deaths because the Chinese Communist Party refused to report the truth worldwide and allowing 5 million people fly from Wuhan China all over the world.