By: Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP
Looking at this graph, almost everyone agrees it is time to go back to “normal activities”. Data is from 3/26/2021.
For children, going back to school seems like a logical step; kids benefit so much from interacting with other kids as part of their normal growth and development. However, in many parents’ mind, going back to school, in spite of all the precautions, is a difficult decision and a scary experience. That is why I decided to bring you more data about children and COVID to help make the decision a little easier. I heard of an excellent presentation by one of my colleagues Ms. Marisa glucoft, MPH, who presented key points why the infection rate for COVID is much lower in children than their adult counterparts.
Here is what we know thus far about children and COVID:
The COVID 19 virus is milder in children because the virus just is not able to bind with the cells and cause infection. The receptor ACE II that binds the COVID spike is reduced in children and therefore less chance of infection.
Children are younger, they have healthier immune systems. They have few co-existing conditions or complications than the old folks. One hypothesis is that there are differences in endothelial and clotting functions. The endothelium is a thin membrane that lines the inside of the heart and blood vessels. Endothelial cells release substances that control vascular relaxation and contraction as well as enzymes that control blood clotting, immune function and platelet (a colorless substance in the blood adhesion). COVID 19 causes damages in the endothelium linings, resulting in strokes and heart attacks. Children seem to have better endothelium linings and less damage from COVID.
Sheila’s note: this point about endothelium function makes sense. We do not see the provenance of heart attacks or strokes in children, but quite common in the elders even before the COVID epidemics.
We will continue our discussion next week on why children fare better in the COVID season.
Your homework from the Care Ministry this week: take your COVID vaccine when it is your turn, continue to wear masking, wash your hands and practice social distancing. Yes, we can end the viral season when we work together.
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