Monday, March 2, 2020

The Real COVID-19 Surprise

It's that the disease is - from all reports - either skipping the most vulnerable population of young children, or failing to cause symptoms severe enough to be identified. In most viral attacks, the little kids are the likeliest group to become infected. That doesn't necessarily mean that they die, or even become seriously ill.

But, many kids are among the first sufferers of most contagious diseases. Especially as so many are in some form of day care, and exposed to germs outside of the family.

Only a few have developed symptoms that needed hospitalization (and, those in China). That might mean that kids have some acquired immunity to the illness - whether developed after birth or in utero. I'd love to see them test kids in the same family as those suspected of developing the disease, and see if they have some antibodies in their blood. Another possibility (from the link above):
“In adults, they are reacting quite violently because perhaps they have seen a previous coronavirus infection and that’s set up the immune system to react inappropriately and excessively,” Professor Robert Booy from the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance told the ABC.
 Now, that same oddball age-skewing has happened before - most recently, in the previous SARS sweep of Asia.
This isn’t the first time children have been less likely to become infected during a coronavirus outbreak. According to America’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, limited information published from past SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) outbreaks, infection among children was relatively uncommon.
 So, although kids often seem to be fighting off colds and other infections (hence the normal toddler face with "green 11s - those snot trails beneath the nose), they also generally recover with few complications. The kids who you might have to worry about are those with other serious illnesses or conditions.

Either way - robust immune systems, or some unknown immunity - that's excellent news for parents. You might have to worry about the elderly, but - unlike the 1918 flu panic - the younger population seems to be spared the worst outcomes.



When my kids went to pre-school, they brought home the NASTIEST stuff. Brutal. I joked with my wife that we should lease them out to the Pentagon for germ warfare research. They were miserable for a few days, then fine.

Me, on the other hand, some of the germs they incubated were horrible to us adults.

Bailey said...

May I respectfully say that, for something we are assured is 'just a cold (unless you're already compromised in some way)', the actions of those in charge seem wildly disproportionate.
The actions of the markets are equally our of line with the stated threat level.

Makes us wonder a few things, and we look to our larders and deep preps with great relief.