50 children infected with Covid-19 in Singapore
A total of 50 children have been infected with Covid-19 here, with around half of them still in hospital.
Among them is a three-year-old Singaporean girl (Case 582), who has been warded for 29 days - the longest stay of all children so far - since she tested positive for the virus on March 24.
She was warded in KK Women's and Children's Hospital after testing positive and is linked to Cases 418 and 647, whom The Straits Times understands to be the girl's parents.
Both were imported cases who had returned from the US, and they were discharged on April 9 and April 6 respectively.
Of the 50 children here who have been infected, eight of them are aged one and below. Thirteen of them are aged above one to six, while 22 are aged between seven and 12. Seven are aged 13 to 16.
Professor Dale Fisher, group director of medicine at the National University Health System and chairman of the World Health Organisation's Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, said that children appear to be asymptomatic or less likely to be sick from Covid-19 than adults.
He added that in Singapore's family clusters, there is no evidence that the child is the first person to contract the virus. Instead, it is usually the other way round - parents infecting the child though the child remains asymptomatic even when he is tested positive for the virus.
Dr Sharon Nachman, head of paediatric infectious disease at Stony Brook Children's Hospital in the state of New York, commented that: "Children see so many illnesses in the first few years of life that their immune systems are tuned up and respond nicely to novel infection."
Researchers from the paediatric division of the medical school at Shanghai Jiao Tong University studied 2,143 infected children in China.
They found that 50.9 per cent of children experienced mild symptoms, 38.8 per cent had moderate symptoms and 4.4 per cent had no symptoms.
The remaining 5.9 per cent were serious cases, which was well below the 18.5 per cent of adults who experienced severe symptoms.