Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) declared a global pandemic by the WHO, COVID-19, a deadly cousin of SARS and MERS is continuing its global journey of spreading at an unprecedented rate where third-world nations are struggling to control the situation.
Preventive guidelines are being provided worldwide to prevent further spread of is continuously being updated by WHO and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of US and European Medicine Agency. However, considerable chaos is found around the global regions with poor awareness regarding its behaviour.
In Pakistan, considerable measures are being taken by Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination for the management of deadly pandemic. The people of third world countries, where there is a great lack of knowledge and illiteracy, have abundant queries concerning the current COVID-19 pandemic and a definite role of all health care professionals needs to be defined to aid development and change in attitude relating different myths and perceptions.
One such perception is widely related with children that COVID19 is unlikely to affect children. Their low incidence at the initial level has been associated with low susceptibility and an incorrect assumption. Research data shows that presence of certain risk factors including age, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes facilitate or increase chance of contacting COVID19 but in healthy children such conditions are usually not found which decrease their risk of getting the virus.
On the other hand, fewer cases reported in children are the preventive measures taken by the parents, such as, low or no outdoor activities and teaching them how to maintain a high level of hygiene in these stringent times etc. Other proposed explanations include vigorous immune response in children and wholesome respiratory system due to the fact that they are less exposed to harmful chemicals, smoke, pollution and present a rare number of underlying disease conditions. Also, viral vaccines administered in children from less than 1 year is also likely to influence the response of children to COVID19 like the Influenza vaccine which is likely to impact the immune response.
To sum up, although children appear to be least affected by COVID19 but it must be kept in mind that the causes stated behind are not well defined and very little knowledge is present of its biological features in children. No doubt, children and adolescents who are infected and present relatively mild clinical symptoms are likely to spread the virus significantly.