Questions abound concerning who is at risk for COVID 19 infection including whether children or the immune compromised of our society are at higher risk. With time, we have learned that the elderly and those with metabolic diseases like hypertension and diabetes are at higher risk. In contrast, children seem to be relatively spared from this disease. Those of us caring for children, especially those like myself who care for some pediatric patients with weakened immune systems, have wondered if those children are at risk. This study suggests that even children with known immune dysfunction do not get COVID at an increased rate.
The researchers looked at 1490 children over a 16 week period. These children were considered high risk for infections given their underlying condition or a medication they were taking. Out of these 1490 children over 16 weeks, about 2 in 3 developed some reported symptoms that could be caused by COVID 19. Only 110 of those with symptoms or less than 10% of the total studied actually received a COVID 19 test due to the severity of their symptoms requiring a medical visit. Another 25 received a COVID 19 PCR test for screening. None of those tested were positive for COVID 19.
Despite these unimpressive statistics, 6 in 10 parents reported anxiety levels of 7 or higher on a 1 to 10 scale. They were scared for their children which is to be expected when a potential threat to your child has been reported in the media constantly for weeks on end. In the beginning, this makes some sense as we did not know what to expect. Now, as this study and others indicate children, even though with weakened immune systems, rarely contract or suffer from COVID 19, we should reassure parents of these children so their anxiety scores can diminish.
The study authors concluded that community based screening for COVID in children or in immune compromised children would not be very helpful. They hinted at the need for efforts to reassure parents and lower anxiety levels. As a functional MD caring for children with immune compromise, I concur. Study after study, despite the occasional media hype about the very rare cases of children with COVID, show that children are at low risk for the disease, especially severe forms of it. Despite this, we continue mask our children and expose them to the toxins of masks (mentioned in another blog) and the psychological harm of isolation and fear. In helping everyone live healthier more abundant lives, we must end the insanity.
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.