COVID-19 might only affect children
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COVID-19 might only affect children in coming years, US-Norwegian study suggests

COVID-19 might only affect children

A US-Norweigian modeling study published on Thursday has noted that in the next few years, COVID-19 might behave like the common cold, affecting mostly young children, reported India Today on Friday. 

The study highlighted that because the severity of the coronavirus is lower among children, the overall burden of COVID-19 is expected to decline in the coming years. It is likely that coronavirus will only affect children who are not vaccinated or haven’t been exposed to the virus. 

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The study also predicted that the SARS-CoV-2 virus will become endemic in the global population, meaning it will be found only in particular people. 

Ottar Bjornstad at the University of Oslo in Norway stated that the coronavirus has a clear signature and has increasingly severe outcomes with age. 

The study suggests that the risk of infection will transfer to younger children as adults become immune either through vaccination or by exposure to the virus. 

The study, published in the journal Sciences Advances, noted that similar patterns have been observed for other coronaviruses and influenza viruses as well. 

Bjornstad added, “Historical records of respiratory diseases indicate that age-incidence patterns during virgin epidemics can be very different from endemic circulation.” 

He further explained that ongoing genomic work has suggested that the 1889-1890 pandemic — Asiatic or Russian flu known to have killed one million people, primarily adults over 70 — might have been caused by the emergence of the HCoV-OC43 virus, which is now a mild cold virus affecting children between the ages of 7 to 12 months. 

The researcher, however, cautioned that if the immunity to SARS-CoV-2 decreases among adults, the disease burden would most probably remain high in the group. He added that while previous exposure to the virus would lessen the severity, it will not provide immunity. 

COVID-19 might only affect children

Bjornstad further expanded that evidence from previous studies on coronaviruses indicates that previous infections usually creates short-term immunity to reinfection allowing for outbreaks to reoccur. 

The prior infection may provide the immune system with some protection against severe disease, but only vaccination provides stronger protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. 

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