Kids Contract COVID-19 But More Research Needs To Be Done On Possible Long-Term Effects

Published: Friday, November 6, 2020 - 11:31am

Last month, 200,000 children across much of the country were infected with COVID-19, according to a report by the Academy of Pediatrics. While severe illness among kids appears to be rare, researchers don’t know much about the possible long-term effects.

Saskia Popescu is an epidemiologist at the University of Arizona's College of Public Health.

"So I think part of this is that we don't have a lot of data on pediatric COVID. And the long-term implications are even less studied. So right now, we're just starting to learn about long-haulers in adults, who are the primary patients in this," Popescu said. 

And, she says, we're only 10 months into this pandemic. 

"The concern is, of course, children who are, you know, at a developmental point in their lives and their physiology could have longer lasting implications that we just don't know about. So yes, I think people are concerned. I haven't seen any data to point to that being something we're starting to see. But that doesn't mean it couldn't happen," she said. 

In Maricopa County, there are nearly 22,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among people under age 20. Of that total, 349 have been admitted to the hospital and three have died.