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The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Mental Health of Children and Adolescents

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Term Paper: The epidemiological and clinical features of COVID-19 infection in children and adolescents are similar to those in adults. Wu and McGoogan (2020) of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention studied 72,314 COVID-19 patients. They report that 2% of confirmed COVID-19 patients are children between the ages of 1-19, and 0.9% of them are under 10 years of age. Most patients have mild clinical symptoms. On the one hand, COVID-19 infection may be asymptomatic. Fortunately, the uncommon end is critically ill patients who require intensive care and have a high mortality rate (Table 2) (Carlotti et al., 2020). The common manifestations of children are fever, fatigue, dry cough, nasal congestion and runny nose. The gastrointestinal symptoms are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Most of them will recover in about a week. Zheng et al. (2020) studied 25 hospitalized children and found that fever, dry cough, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea were the main complaints. Two of the children developed serious illnesses requiring admission to the ICU, but they have improved through medical interventions. Several other workers also recorded that the child’s condition was mild (Xia et al., 2020, Castagnoli et al., 2020, Morand et al., 2020, Dong et al., 2020, Lu et al., 2020). Ludvigsson (2020) reviewed 45 studies and found that children accounted for 1-5% of the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Children under 1 year of age or children with underlying medical conditions sometimes develop serious illnesses (Tezar and Demirag, 2020). The infection rate of boys is higher than that of girls (Lu et al., 2020, Xia et al., 2020). Xu et al. (2020) reported positive rectal swabs in 8 pediatric patients, although the nasopharyngeal test was negative. This may cause people to worry about possible fecal-oral transmission. CDC COVID-19 Response Team (2020) In the United States, 2572 COVID-19 cases were rolled over among children under 18 (median age = 11 years). Among them, 813 (32%) are between 15-17 years old, another 682 (27%) are under 10-14 years old, and 398 (15%) are less than one year old. In addition, of the 345 pediatric patients, 80 (23%) had at least one underlying disease—chronic lung disease (40 patients), cardiovascular disease (25 patients), and immunosuppression (10 patients). The incidence of patients under 18 years of age accounted for 1.7% of the total number of affected COVID-19 patients (CDC COVID-19, 2020). In a population-based SARS-CoV-2 screening study conducted in Iceland, 87 people (0.8%) in open invitation screening and 13 people (0.6%) in random population screening were positive. The incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and women under 10 years of age is lower than that of adolescents or adults and men (Gudbjartsson et al., 2020). In South Korea, judging from the total number of confirmed cases, the age distribution is M-shaped, with two peaks in the 20s and 50s. Children (≤19 years old) account for 18% of the total population of Korea. Due to the unique characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), genetic ambiguity, and extremely contagious nature, all efforts to suppress it have been challenged. However, highly advanced molecular and genomic epidemiology is successfully unraveling all the mysteries of SARS-CoV-2, and its precise treatment and effective vaccine design methods. There is an urgent need to clearly understand the host pathogen biology of COVID-19 and all the complexities unique to the virus (Tay et al., 2020). Coronavirus is no stranger to scientists. Human Coronavirus 229 E, NL63, OC43 and HKU-1 usually affect the upper respiratory tract with mild symptoms. The other three coronaviruses that replicate in the lower respiratory tract can cause serious and sometimes fatal diseases. They are: a.SARS-CoV-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus b.MERS-CoV-Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus c.SARS-CoV-2-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 COVID-19 pandemic inspired The interests of researchers all over the world have been created, and biomedical research—molecular biology, virology, with emphasis on molecular epidemiology and comparative genomics—has had an unprecedented and profound impact (Rodriguez-Morales et al., 2020 i and ii). ). The advancement of sequencing technology has created a new era of genomic epidemiology. Traditional molecular diagnosis and genotyping methods have been enhanced/replaced by new flux-based genomic methods. The latter allows the analysis and comparison of the entire pathogen genome. This in turn helps to uncover the mystery of how and why infectious diseases spread. Now, this tool is essential for understanding many aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initial genome-wide sequence analysis of the virus revealed its taxonomic status as a member of the beta coronavirus, which is different from SARS-CoV or MERS-CoV (Rodriguez-Morales et al., 2020 iii). In addition, improved phylogenetic analysis methods clarify that COVID-19 and Bat-SARS-like coronavirus clusters are a unique lineage in the Serbecovirus subgenus (Zhu et al., 2020; Paraskaris et al., 2020). SARS-CoV-2 is genetically similar to the previous SARS-CoV by 79% (Coronavirus Research Group, 2020). The presence of spike protein (S) on the surface of COVID-19 gives it a characteristic "crown" appearance. S protein is composed of 2 subunits-S1 and S2. The S1 subunit consists of a receptor binding domain (RBD) and an amino terminal domain. RBD binds to angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2) as its host cell target receptor, thereby starting the infection process (Zhou et al., 2020). The S2 subunit consists of a fusion peptide region inserted into the host membrane. The two heptapeptide repeat regions—HR1 and HR2—are other components of the S2 subunit, which cause membrane fusion and release the virus into the host cytoplasm (Tay et al., 2020). SARS-CoV-2 has 98% genetic similarity with bat coronavirus RaTG13 (Zhou et al., 2020). Read Less