COVID-19: Children react with high immune response

Children and adolescents play an important role in the infection process. Low vaccination protection, many social contacts in schools and kindergartens and a low or mild course make it difficult to assess the situation for the offspring. First analyzes show how children and young people react to an infection with the corona virus.

In children and adolescents, an asymptomatic course of a corona infection is five times more common than in adults.

COVID-19: Children rarely become infected within the family

Scientists from the University Hospitals in Freiburg, Heidelberg and Tübingen and the Medical Institute NMI Reutlingen analyzed the infection process in 328 families in which at least one family member had contracted COVID-19.

A total of 717 adults and 548 children between the ages of 6 and 14 were examined:

  • In families with an infected person, 34 percent of the children became infected
  • 58 percent of adults contracted it from an infected family member
  • Infected adults were five times more likely to show symptoms of COVID-19: 9 percent of children showed symptoms and 45 percent of adults.
  • A year after infection, children have higher and longer-lasting levels of antibodies than adults.
  • Antibodies were also able to achieve a high immune response against virus variants.

Children and adults with different symptoms

In adults, the infection could be identified as a corona infection based on these symptoms:

In 87 percent of the children, only the taste disturbance could be determined as a symptom. Other symptoms (cough and fever) only became noticeable in children aged 12 and over.

Nevertheless, the immune response of children and adolescents is stronger than that of adults, even if the course is mild.

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