Audio Interview

The paediatric response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and what we can learn from it

Published on March 27, 2020   16 min

Other Talks in the Series: Research and Clinical Interviews

Interviewer: Professor Permar, thank you for sparing the time today to do this interview with us. Today we shall cover the current knowledge on why children seem less susceptible to the new coronavirus strain SARS-CoV-2, and the implications this has on future treatments for older individuals and the development of a vaccine. To start, what is the current knowledge or speculation regarding why children are less affected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus? Interviewer: It's a really interesting phenomenon that we see playing out with this epidemic, generally when we think of respiratory viral infections, they're often high-risk populations at both ends of the age spectrum. We can have severe diseases in the young, especially in infants and newborns, something like respiratory syncytial virus we know is one of the main reasons that an infant will be hospitalized. And then viruses are seen to cause more severe disease in older ages as well. In this pandemic we're seeing much more of a propensity for the older age groups to have severe disease, and not very much severe disease occurring in younger age groups. That's unusual and potentially unexpected, but it gives us an opportunity to study why children are being reported with fewer cases of severe disease than adults, and trying to understand how their response to an infection may be different and more beneficial in containing the infection, rather than going on to severe disease.

The paediatric response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and what we can learn from it

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