For the past few weeks, the world has been on edge with news of the Coronavirus, Covid-19. To date, the Coronavirus has infected 95,334 people worldwide, including 3,285 deaths. In the United States, in particular, the total confirmed cases stand at 158, with 11 deaths. The virus can effect everyone, especially the elderly or those with compromised immune systems. However, is seems as if kids are less vulnerable to contracting severe symptoms.
“…the literature is only reporting about 100 or so pediatric cases,” Terri Lynn Stillwell, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan, states in an interview with NPR.org regarding data out of China.
One explanation, according to experts, for the low numbers of children contracting the highly contagious disease is that, “It’s possible that many more kids are infected but don’t get sick enough to seek medical treatment. It’s also possible that some infected children may develop no symptoms at all.”
However, even though the virus isn’t as prominent in the United States as other countries at the moment, health officials warn that it is coming.
“It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but more really a question of when it will happen — and how many people in this country will have severe illness,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters during a briefing.
To date, the following states have confirmed Coronavirus cases: California, Washington, Nebraska, Texas, New York, Illinois, Florida, Arizona, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Georgia, Wisconsin, Utah, and North Carolina.
So what should parents do? First, reassure children and second, make sure that children, along with yourself, practice good hand washing, which is one of the best ways to prevent a virus from spreading. Next, keep abreast of current updates and news reports that directly affect your community. Make sure to have a preparedness plan, just in case there is a quarantine put in place. So far, this season, the flu has killed an estimated 16,000 people and has hospitalized even more. Even now, it is not to late to get a flu shot. Know the symptoms, because flu and Coronavirus symptoms are extremely similar. If you suspect that you have been infected by either, consult a medical professional immediately.