Coronavirus in children
29th February 2020
You may have already seen my article in Hello magazine discussing where we are currently with Coronavirus and the likely impact in the paediatric population. Essentially the data looks reasonably good for children who contract coronavirus. The data from China, which is the largest source of data at the moment, suggests a very low mortality rate in the paediatric population. This is very different to the adult population where current estimates suggest an overall death rate of 1-3%. The most vulnerable population are men in their 80’s who may have a significantly higher death rate.
There is no doubt that the virus is likely to hit in the next few weeks, for 80% of us all we might see is a mild infection, a bit like a cold. It is imperative that as a society we act in a socially responsible way so that we limit the impact of the virus. Containment is essential. That means that if you have travelled from a high risk area that you should self isolate for a minimum of 2 weeks and contact NHS 111 so that they can discuss your case and advise you appropriately. You must avoid going into public areas (eg pubs, social gatherings, GP surgeries) so that you limit the potential spread of the virus. This should even apply if you have flu like symptoms, a cough and a fever even if you haven’t been to an at risk area because we now have the first case of community acquired coronavirus in the UK. You might only have mild symptoms but the person you transmit to might become very sick, you just don’t know.
Good hygiene is going to be essential. Regular hand washing, the use of alcohol gels, using tissues to cough and sneeze into etc.
The NHS is likely to be very stretched so please think carefully about whether you need to see your GP or go to A+E. If you are unsure ring the NHS 111 service. Also think about acquiring a thermometer or the more advanced HOTPOD® Child Health Monitoring Kit so that you can add an extra layer of safety in monitoring your child’s health.