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Wear The Gown: Kids and the coronavirus

We find out how susceptible kids are to the virus and how easily they can be carriers

SAN ANTONIO — A lot of parents and caregivers have been asking us questions related to kids and the coronavirus. Many have heard the elderly are most at risk from dying from the coronavirus, but most children are not immune and they play a huge role in spreading the virus to others. Here are some of your questions. To answer these questions we turn to Dr. Mario Martinez, a staff pediatrician at the Kenwood Clinic within the University Health System.

Are kids with type-1 diabetes at a higher risk of contracting the virus? Dr. Martinez said, "This is one of the comorbidities that authorities are saying, right, if you have comorbidities stay home wash your hands try to prevent the virus because you are going to be complicated. So the answer is if you have diabetes you might end up at the hospital with complications you have to be careful."

Since we have been staying in our house & have no symptoms, can our grandkids, 8, 6, & 5 visit us? Dr. Martinez told us, "If you have elderly people and kids that want to visit the answer is no. Ideally you would want this type of social isolation. We want the kids out, not visiting the grandparents because they can be carriers of the covid-19."

We have heard that children are not likely to be infected with coronavirus. Can they get it? Dr. Martinez answered, "4% of kids they may not present any type of symptoms but they can be carriers and expose older people or people with comorbidities to the virus. 6% of the children are going to have very very bad symptoms and can end up at the hospital. The remaining 80% to 90% of the kids are going to have flu like symptoms. Cough, runny nose, fever, some type of difficulty breathing, but they usually recover pretty well."

Children may not understand why they have to be confined and their routines have changed.  How do we explain what is happening to them? Dr. Martinez said, "We have to empower the kids too, and for example that's why you are washing your hands, you are protecting others so they don't get the virus. Besides washing your hands you are not shaking your hands, you are doing the elbow bump, so that's important and you are helping protecting the community."

Meeting with your doctor over the phone is one way to minimize exposure to the coronavirus. If you want to make an appointment at any of the University Health System clinics, and want to meet by phone, you can schedule a Telehealth appointment by calling your clinic location. 

You can also submit more  uestions for University Health System doctors by texting us at 210-366-2002. And as always, for more information about family health call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of Wear The Gown stories, just go to WearTheGown.com.

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