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UK Cardiologist Dr Rae Duncan on Covid-19 Infections in Children

Research on Covid-19 Impacts on Child Health

• SARS2 causes increased hospital admissions, mortality rate and absolute numbers of deaths in children, compared to Influenza

(Shein et al., 2022 doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.17217)

• Asymptomatic infection in children can lead to a serious, multiorgan hyperinflammatory syndrome

(Riphagen et al., 2020 doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31094-1)

• An epidemic of hepatitis in healthy children could be linked to previous COVID-19 infection


•Pulmonary dysfunction persists even in children considered to be recovered from Covid

(Heiss et al., 2022; doi: doi: 10.1148/radiol.221250)

• Covid leads to a 3x increased risk of psychotic disorders in children

(Taquet et al., 2022 doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(22)00260-7)

• Children are twice as likely to develop epilepsy or seizures following Covid infection, compared to following other respiratory infections

(Taquet et al., 2022 doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(22)00260-7)

• Children are at an increased risk of epilepsy, encephalitis, nerve, nerve root and plexus disorders up to at least 2 years after Covid infection

(Taquet et al., 2022 doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(22)00260-7)

• Intracranial (brain) bacterial infections have increased during the Covid pandemic, occuring during or just after Covid infection. One Michigan children’s hospital reports a 236% increase.

(Khuon et al., 2022 doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7131a4)

• Children and teens who’ve had Covid are at greater risk for blood clots, heart problems, kidney failure, and Type 1 diabetes

(Kompaniyets et al., 2022 doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7131a3)

• Covid infection leads to an average of 42% increased risk of Type 1 Diabetes across all ages. Risk increases most in pediatric patients- by 584%.

(Quedan et al., 2022 doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0266809)

• One study shows 89% of children across a range of Covid severities meet criteria for thrombotic microangiopathy, a form of blood vessel damage that can lead to clots.

(Diorio et al., 2020 doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003471)

• Covid produces a protein with identical sequences to a liver cell protein, potentially explaining the epidemic of hepatitis seen in children by epitope mimicry causing autoimmune T cell response.

(Wang and Liu, 2022, *preprint, doi: 10.1101/2022.05.16.49192)

• Healthy children with asymptomatic or mild infections show continued dysfunction of the left ventricular myocardium (part of the heart muscle) when scanned 148 days on average post-infection.

(Sabatino et al., 2023; doi: 10.3390/jcm12010186)

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