Aug, 2021 - By WMR
A team of researchers from Duke University studied the COVID-19 infection in children with asthma in the age group ranging from 5 years to 17 years.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented challenge to the global public health and continues to spread globally despite vaccination efforts. According to the World Health Organization’s report, approximately 194 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 including 4 million deaths were reported globally as of July 25, 2021. It is to be noted here that the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, and other diseases such as hypertension, diabetes are high risk factors for COVID-19. The researchers conducted a cohort study of 49,455 children who received health care in Durham County, North Carolina from March 1, 2020 to October 31, 2020. Out of 49,455 children, 6,515 had asthma. The researchers noted that 1.1% of children were COVID positive and out of this only 66 children had asthma during the study period. They examined how the presence of comorbid atopic diseases and the use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) can modify the relation between asthma and risk of COVID-19 infection. They found that asthma was related to lower risk of COVID-19 infection among children who were prescribed ICS or had comorbid atopic diseases. More importantly, they observed that children with asthma did not require hospitalization after acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection. This is a relief to healthcare providers and parents of asthmatic children as during the study no evidence was found that support asthma predisposes children to severe COVID-19.
The researchers recommended the use of these medications during this COVID-19 pandemic as the data shows that these medications do not increase vulnerability to COVID-19 infection. On the contrary, this study demonstrates that the use of ICS may decrease the rate of COVID-19 infection among children.