Children & Teens Can Get COVID-19
What you need to know
While fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, can get sick from COVID-19, and can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to others. Children, like adults, who have COVID-19 but have no symptoms (“asymptomatic”) can still spread the virus to others.
Most children with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or have no symptoms at all. However, some children can get severely ill from COVID-19. They might require hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator to help them breathe. In rare cases, they might die.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and partners are investigating a rare but serious medical condition associated with COVID-19 in kids called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). We do not yet know what causes MIS-C and who is at increased risk for developing it. Learn more about MIS-C.
Babies and Underlying Conditions
Babies under 1 year old might be more likely to have severe illness from COVID-19. Other children, regardless of age, with the following underlying medical conditions might also be at increased risk of severe illness compared to other children:
- Asthma or chronic lung disease
- Genetic, neurologic, or metabolic conditions
- Sickle cell disease
- Heart disease since birth
- Immunosuppression (weakened immune system due to certain medical conditions or being on medications that weaken the immune system)
- Medical complexity (children with multiple chronic conditions that affect many parts of the body, or are dependent on technology and other significant supports for daily life)
This list does not include every underlying condition that might increase the risk for severe illness in children. As more information becomes available, the CDC and Sun Pediatrics will continue to update and share information about risk for severe illness among children.
Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in adults and children and can look like symptoms of other common illnesses such as colds, strep throat, or allergies. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 in kids are fever and cough, but children may have any of these signs or symptoms of COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Nasal congestion or runny nose
- Loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle or body aches
- Poor appetite or poor feeding, especially in babies under 1 year old
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Read more from the CDC.