Calgary researcher leads global study to improve diagnosis, treatment for kids with COVID-19

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A researcher from the University of Calgary is leading a global study aimed at improving the diagnosis and treatment of children with COVID-19.

The study, overseen by Dr. Stephen Freedman, is already underway at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.

In a Tuesday news release, Freedman said very little is known about how the new coronavirus affects children or what the best treatment is for those infected with the virus, which causes COVID-19.

“We want to identify the differences in symptoms between children infected by SARS-CoV-2 [the virus responsible for COVID-19] and other respiratory viruses, such as influenza, so we can tailor testing and treatment approaches to achieve the best results,” Freedman explained.

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Researchers will collect data on 12,500 children brought to emergency departments with respiratory illness at 50 sites in 14 countries. They will follow the children for 90 days, recording travel history, exposures and symptoms, and reviewing lab tests, X-rays, treatment and outcomes.

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“It seems that adults get sickest seven to 10 days after first seeing a doctor,” Freedman said. “We need to know whether that’s the same for children so that we can identify at-risk children, provide them with the most beneficial interventions at the best time to promote their recovery.”

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Freedman’s study will include help from an international group of pediatric emergency medicine clinicians and researchers,


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