Children, teens and young adults are at greater risk for severe complications from COVID-19 than previously thought and those with underlying health conditions are at even greater risk, according to a study coauthored by a Rutgers researcher.
The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, is the first to describe the characteristics of seriously ill pediatric COVID-19 patients in North America.
“The idea that COVID-19 is sparing of young people is just false,” said study coauthor Lawrence C. Kleinman, professor and vice chair for academic development and chief of the Department of Pediatrics’ Division of Population Health, Quality and Implementation Science at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “While children are more likely to get very sick if they have other chronic conditions, including obesity, it is important to note that children without chronic illness are also at risk. Parents need to continue to take the virus seriously.”