Scientists from King’s College London compared the symptoms, their duration, complications and other indicators in two groups of children from 17 years of age: infected with the alpha variant (“British”) and the delta (“Indian”).
The first group included data from 276 children who confirmed COVID-19 at the end of last year, when the alpha variant dominated in the UK. Another 227 children were infected in the spring and summer of 2021, when the “Briton” was supplanted by the delta variant.
According to scientists, the clinical picture of the disease was similar in both groups of children. Regardless of the variant of the coronavirus, most patients recovered on average within five days, with older children usually getting sick a day or two longer than younger children. Only 5 toddlers and 22 older children experienced symptoms for more than 28 days.
The symptoms of COVID-19 were similar regardless of the variant of the virus: headache, weakness, fever, loss of smell or taste, sore throat, cough, runny nose. Scientists found that symptoms such as fever, dizziness, chills, and eye inflammation were more common when infected with the delta variant.
Hospitalization rates in both groups were low and also comparable. About 2.2% of young children and 1.9% of older patients infected with the alpha variant were admitted to the hospital. Among those infected with the “Indian”, 3.5% of young children and 1.7% of older children required hospital treatment.
It is worth noting that the symptoms and severity of the disease when infected with the delta variant were compared with the alpha variant, and not the original SARS-CoV-2 strain. Earlier studies have shown that the “Briton” infects children much more easily, especially under the age of 12.