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Kids more likely to become severely sick with BA.2 than other variants, study shows

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Posted at 4:05 PM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 17:24:04-04

(WXYZ) — A new study has found omicron’s sub-variant BA.2 is more severe in children than previous coronavirus variants.

Researchers also compared the outcomes of hospitalized children with COVID-19 to parainfluenza and the flu.

The study took place in Hong Kong. While the data is preliminary, researchers found that children hospitalized with BA.2 were more likely to develop severe illness or die than previous COVID-19 variants, parainfluenza or the flu.

I’ll break down the data for you. Hospitalized children infected with BA.2 were:

18 times more likely to be admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit and 11 times more likely to develop croup than previous COVID-19 variants.

Three times more likely to suffer a seizure caused by a high fever than children hospitalized with the flu and four times more likely than children hospitalized with parainfluenza.

Twice as likely to develop croup with BA.2 than with the flu

Seven times higher chance of dying than children hospitalized with the flu and a six times higher chance of dying than children hospitalized with parainfluenza.

Like many places, omicron hit Hong Kong hard. In February with BA.2 spreading quickly, over 1,100 children ended up hospitalized. Sadly, four of them died.

Of the four children, three had been in good health. They were quite young as well — 11 months, 3 year, and 4 years old. The fourth child was 9 and had muscular dystrophy. Two of the children developed encephalitis, which is swelling of the brain, and viral infection most often triggers it.

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