What are the risks of COVID-19 infection in children aged 5 to 11? Isn’t it usually a mild disease in children?

Question: 

What are the risks of COVID-19 infection in children aged 5 to 11? Isn’t it usually a mild disease in children?

Answer: 
While most children who get COVID-19 have a minor illness, some can get very sick. Unfortunately, with the Delta and Omicron variants, we are seeing more children getting sick and being hospitalized with COVID-19. Infected children are also able to pass on COVID-19 to other people in their families and communities.
 
Some children may continue to feel sick weeks or months after the initial illness. This is called Post-COVID-19 condition or “long COVID”. Early studies suggest that "long COVID" is less common in children and young people than adults. 
 
Some children have a higher chance of more serious symptoms if they get COVID-19. This includes children with pre-existing conditions, especially more than one pre-existing condition, including:
 
  • obesity
  • chronic lung disease
  • congenital heart disease
  • epilepsy
  • neurodevelopmental disorders, including trisomy 21
Check with your healthcare provider or public health unit if you have any concerns.
 
Children are also at risk of developing a serious but rare condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) after COVID-19 infection. MIS-C is caused by an exaggerated immune response, leading to severe widespread inflammation, and can appear several weeks after infection. As of March 25 2022, there have been 28 confirmed cases MIS-C in BC since January 1, 2020.

 

In this video, BC Children’s Hospital Infectious Disease Pediatric Physician Dr. Manish Sadarangani discusses severe COVID-19 infection in children. 

Video courtesy of BC Children’s Hospital

Date last reviewed: 
Friday, Mar 25, 2022