Why do kids usually recover from COVID-19 more easily than adults?

April 17, 2024  08:38

Why do children usually recover from COVID-19 more easily than adults?

The nose appears to know why kids get a milder form of COVID-19 than the elderly, a new research suggests.

Lab studies have shown that the cells lining the inner surface of the nose are more likely to mount a rapid immune response to COVID-19 in the young than in the elderly.

For this study, researchers cultured nasal cells from healthy children, adults, and the elderly.

These cell cultures were then exposed to the COVID-19, and their response was monitored in the lab.

After three days, the children's nasal cells responded quickly to the virus by increasing the release of interferon, a signaling protein that serves as the body's first line of defense against viruses. Interferons cause nearby cells to boost their own antiviral defenses, boosting immunity.

But with age, this early antiviral response becomes less pronounced. In fact, nasal cells in older people typically produce more infectious virus particles that help the virus spread throughout the body.

A stronger antiviral response in children's nasal cells may explain why young people have milder symptoms of COVID-19, researchers say.

In addition, the higher levels of damage and viral replication found in the nasal cells of the elderly may answer the question of why they are more prone to severe COVID-19.

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