What symptoms does COVID-19 show in children?

More kids around the Valley are returning to the classroom in the middle of flu season. That has some medical experts concerned.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The colder months are expected to pose major challenges for Valley families.

COVID-19 cases continue to rise as people start to spend more time indoors.

If the trend continues, Fresno County could move back into the more restrictive 'purple tier' next week.

More kids around the Valley are returning to the classroom in the middle of flu season. That has some medical experts concerned because of a recent spike in COVID cases.

Dr. Chai Rongkavilit, a Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist at CRMC and a UCSF Clinical Professor, says, "We worry about the potential transmission within the school, even though we know that the majority of kids will do quite well with COVID."

Dr. Chai is called upon when hospitalized kids show unusual symptoms.

He explained that kids with colds usually don't run a fever but COVID and flu symptoms can be similar.

He said, "COVID usually has fever, a lot more systemic symptoms, body ache, weakness, fatigue."

He added that the virus can also cause stomach issues.

"The gastrointestinal symptoms might be a little more prominent with diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting. We see that less than with flu or cold," he said.

It could be difficult for parents, though, because many kids with COVID-19 show minor symptoms.

But Dr. Chai has seen some rare cases of kids with MIS-C - multi-system inflammatory syndrome associated with the coronavirus. He continued, "That one can be quite severe. They can come in with prolonged high fever. Very, very sick. Has unusual rash, pink eye."

Dr. Chai said there's evidence COVID spreads between kids but believes transmission is more effective from adults to kids.

He suggests you follow CDC guidelines during the holiday season and avoid gatherings outside of your own household.
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