Children with few symptoms could 'fuel the spread of coronavirus'

As the coronavirus outbreak has spread to tens of thousands of people worldwide, it's become clear that one group isn't getting as sick as others: children. 

No children under age nine have been reported dead in China and, so far, young kids make up less than one percent of confirmed cases there. 

It's too soon to say exactly why children aren't getting as sick or dying of the virus that's killed more than 3,000 people worldwide, but experts suspect that their immune systems may be more familiar with other recent coronavirus strains. 

That may confer some protection against COVID-19 to them. 

But children's low rate of detected infections may also mean that they're insidious spreaders of the disease. 

Children mainly fight off pathogens via an innate immune system that may be better at responding to a newly emerged infections, meaning they don't get as sick, but can pass on the infection to more vulnerable adults (file)

Children mainly fight off pathogens via an innate immune system that may be better at responding to a newly emerged infections, meaning they don't get as sick, but can pass on the infection to more vulnerable adults (file) 

In the largest study conducted on coronavirus patients so far, researchers in China found that only 416 out of 44,672 people included in their report were under age 10 - accounting for just 0.9 percent of all infections. 

One child between 10 and 19 out of 549 infected died. 

Like most respiratory illnesses, death from coronavirus becomes increasingly probable with age. 

Mortality rates stay below two percent for people under age 40. But between ages 60 and 79, those risks increase to 30 percent (although mortality falls back down to 20.3 percent for people over 80). 

Underlying conditions and generally weaker constitutions and immune systems mean that respiratory viruses are harder on older populations. 

But why children are relatively resistant to the infection remains unclear. 

Two theories point to unique attributes of children's immune systems.  

We actually have two types of immune systems: the innate and adaptive.    

Humans and other vertebrates are born with innate

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