COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Symptoms can range from very mild to severe. Many children can be infected with the virus but not have any symptoms. Others can have symptoms such as cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, loss of taste or smell, headache, fatigue, and vomiting/diarrhea.
COVID-19 is typically transmitted through droplets of fluid emitted with a person coughs or sneezes but can also spread if you touch a surface that has the virus on it and then tough your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Vaccines against COVID-19 virus are available to children ages 6 months and older. More information can be found on the CDC website.
For most children, COVID-19 can be treated with supportive care such as hydration, rest, and over-the-counter pain medications. In more serious cases, there are medications that work specifically against COVID-19 virus. Some medications, such as Paxlovid, are only available for older children ages 12 years and higher. Rarely, some children infected with COVID-19 can have complications such as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).