As soon as the first cases of infection coronavirusIn early 2020, one of the biggest concerns for pediatricians was how she would behave with asthmatic children. The concern was justified: asthma is the most common chronic lung disease in children and children are generally responsible for much of the effects of respiratory disease. When Sars-CoV-2 attacks the lungs, the scientific community decided to study these children had a higher risk of receiving Covid-19.
The good news is, no. Great research published in a scientific journal pediatrics conducted a retrospective review of the health records of 46,900 children aged 5 to 17 years in the United States and concluded that the proportion of children with asthma who develop Covid-19 was the same as that of those without asthma. The data refer to the period 1.3.2020 to 30.9.2021 and refer to the period when the Delta variant was predominant – the ronmicron was identified after this period.
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Of all the records analyzed, 12,648 children were tested at least once for coronavirus and 706 (5.6%) were positive, 350 (2.8%) had asthma, and 356 (2.8%) had no disease. Only one child with asthma needed hospital treatment to treat the disease..
“The result of this work is important and quite solid. During the pandemic, we saw that in children with Covid-19, although important, the incidence was low compared to adults and the elderly. There are other works that show that adult asthmatics had more complications of infection and higher mortality.. Because the number of cases in children was smaller, it took the researchers longer to get a sufficient number to reach this conclusion, ”said pediatrician Celso Terra, who is also an intensive care physician at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Intensive Care in Israel.
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One of the hypotheses that researchers have shown for this finding in children with asthma is the use of inhaled corticosteroids – which would reduce the inflammation in the lungs caused by the disease and also reduce viral replication. “When asthmatics have an acute attack, they use corticosteroids, which are effective NSAIDs. With the high incidence of Covid cases in Brazil and around the world, one of the treatments for patients was the use of corticosteroids,” Terra recalled.
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Another hypothesis put forward by the researchers is that children with asthma would have lower expression of the ACE-2 protein, which is associated with the initiation of an inflammatory process in the body caused by Sars-CoV-2. “In theory, the virus would not be able to attack this organism,” the pediatrician explained.
For Terra, the results of this study confirm that general preventive measures were and continue to be essential in the management of the pandemic: the use of masks, hand hygiene and vaccinations. And that proper control of chronic diseases is also necessary to avoid complications.
“This work showed us that Covid-19 does not affect children with lung disease in the way we imagined at the beginning of the pandemic. But it also showed that the better treated and better managed these children are with asthma,” Terra said.
* This content is produced by Agência Einstein