Husband-wife team study why children are less affected by COVID-19

A husband and wife team at Yale say they have the reason why children don't seem to be affected by COVID-19 the same way adults are.

News 12 Staff

Sep 23, 2020, 11:22 PM

Updated 1,358 days ago

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Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, children have shown a less severe response to the virus than adults – and a husband and wife team at Yale says they are closer to understanding why.
Dr. Kevan Herold, an immunobiologist, and his wife, Dr. Betsy Herold, a pediatric infectious disease doctor at Albert Einstein College, says they analyzed children and adults infected with COVID-19 and found kids had much higher levels of a particular kind of general antibody.
"They recognize sort of the features of the pathogen, and they respond very, very quickly,” says Dr. Kevan Herold. “And it's a more primitive type of immune response."
The Herolds believe these proteins are part of an innate immune response that the body seems to rely on less as it ages.
"The ones that the kids are making, we think, are quick and vigorous, and, if anything, seem to clear the virus more rapidly,” he says.
Dr. Kevan Herold says it's possible future treatments could stimulate the innate immune response in adults, but he says the biggest takeaway is that while children are better at fighting the disease, they are not immune to it.
"They develop an immune response that seems to be good at clearing it, but it's not like they aren't exposed or can also have even serious outcomes from COVID,” he says.


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