Are COVID-19 Symptoms Different in Children and Adults?

  • 2020-10-12
  • 979

When children and teens get sick with COVID-19, their symptoms appear to be milder than in adults. There have been very few hospitalizations among people in the U.S. under the age of 19. Research shows that over 90% of children who get sick have very mild to moderate cold-like symptoms that include:

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Some children and teens have been hospitalized with a condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) or pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome (PMIS). Doctors are still learning about it, but they think it’s linked to the new coronavirus. Symptoms include fever, belly pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, headache, and confusion. They’re similar to those of toxic shock syndrome or Kawasaki disease, which causes inflamed blood vessels in children.

Serious problems are rare. Get medical help right away if your child shows any of these symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Can't keep liquids down
  • Changes in skin color, including blue lips or face
  • Confusion or trouble waking up

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