A recent study of children with COVID in Alberta, Canada determined the most common symptoms kids could have when testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. Loss of taste or smell, nausea, headache and fever ranked as the top symptoms, according to the study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. However, the study also found there were symptoms shared by children who tested positive or negative for the virus. Plus, a surprising number of kids who tested positive for COVID had no symptoms at all.
Participants of the study were children aged five years or older who were all tested for COVID-19 between April 13 and September 30, 2020 in Alberta, Canada. Of the 2463 children observed for the study, 476 of them tested negative for COVID and 1987 tested positive. Researchers noted that 714 of the children who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 reported they had no symptoms. That’s about 36% of the kids with positive COVID tests classified as asymptomatic.
6. Symptoms of Children Who Tested Positive
Of the children who tested positive for COVID-19, about two-thirds of them showed consistent symptoms. The five most common symptoms observed in this group were anosmia (loss of smell), ageusia (loss of taste), headache, fever, and nausea.
As any teacher, parent or other caregiver of children will already know, the main symptoms from that list unique to COVID-19 are loss of taste and smell. All other symptoms could be signs of other illnesses, like the flu. This is why testing for COVID is usually necessary to determine if a child has been infected with this virus.
5. Symptoms of Children Who Tested Negative
Runny nose (rhinorrhea), sore throat and cough were additional symptoms observed in many children positive with SARS-CoV-2, but they were also observed widely in children who tested negative. This means a child with viral symptoms isn’t necessarily showing signs of COVID infection, but it can’t be ruled out without getting a COVID test.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) includes fatigue, body aches and diarrhea as additional symptoms of influenza (the flu) in young children. Could these also be signs of COVID? According to the CDC, yes, they might. To know for sure, get your child tested for COVID as soon as possible.