A man and child walk by a Santa Claus reindeer display on a street in Montreal, Sunday, November 22, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

A man and child walk by a Santa Claus reindeer display on a street in Montreal, Sunday, November 22, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Study: fever, loss of taste or smell and nausea among telltale COVID symptoms in kids

Eight per cent of kids with positive COVID tests had loss of taste/smell

New research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) found that one-third of children who tested positive for COVID-19 had no symptoms, but in those that did, loss of taste/smell, headache, fever and nausea/vomiting were most strongly associated with positive cases.

Other flu-like symptoms — including cough, runny nose and sore throat — were the most prominent symptoms in positive cases, but the study suggests they couldn’t be used to accurately predict which cases were positive because they were also most prominent in COVID negative cases.

The study, published Monday, was done by researchers at the University of Alberta who analyzed 2,463 COVID-19 test results from children in the province between April 13 to Sept. 30. They compared symptoms of those who tested positive (1,987) with those who were negative (476) for infection.

Eight per cent of kids with positive COVID tests had loss of taste/smell, versus one per cent of kids who tested negative for the coronavirus, and four per cent had nausea or vomiting (vs. less than one per cent of those testing negative).

Headache was a symptom in 16 per cent of positive cases, compared to six per cent in negative cases, and 26 per cent of positive cases had fever, compared to 15 per cent.

Dr. Finlay McAlister, one of the authors of the study, says those symptoms were associated more with having COVID rather than some other virus.

He says cough, runny nose, and sore throat were equally common in kids who didn’t have COVID but may have had another virus.

Symptoms of fever or chills, cough and runny nose in this study (19 to 26 per cent) were less frequent than in studies conducted in hospital settings. The authors of the study suggest that was because this was a community-based cohort and cases of disease were likely more mild than those seen in hospitals.

Children aged four and younger were more likely to test negative, and teenagers (ages 13 to 17) were more likely to test positive.

READ MORE: BCTF asks parents to ‘create a culture of mask wearing’ as schools excluded from new rules

READ MORE: B.C. education minister wants to avoid school closures completely

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Repairs are planned for the Keremeos Community Pool. The work is expected to be completed by the time the pool is scheduled to open this spring. (File photo)
Repairs approved for Similkameen Pool

New liner will be installed at aging swimming pool in Keremeos

(Crime Stoppers South Okanagan Similkameen / Facebook)
Shred paper to help stop crime in Penticton

South Okanagan Crime Stoppers has partnered with UPS to raise funds during the pandemic

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Oliver police looking for man accused in robbery and assault at pot shop

The man allegedly assaulted an employee at the BC Cannabis Store

A protest has been planned for March 5, 2020 over Penticton council’s decision to reject an application from BC Housing to keep an emergency winter shelter open over a year longer than originally planned. (Jesse Day - Western News)
UPDATE: ‘Bring your tent’: Protest planned in Penticton’s Gyro Park over winter shelter closure

Protesters plan to show council ‘what the result of their decision will look like’

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

(File photo)
Kamloops Mountie bitten while arresting woman

The assault on March 1 is the latest in a string of incidents that have left local officers injured

Penticton RCMP will be attending Friday’s protest to enforce provincial health orders that restrict all gatherings. (File photo)
Penticton RCMP warn of potential fines for Friday’s protest in Gyro Park

Police will be there to enforce provincial health orders that restrict all organized gatherings

An air quality advisory continues in Vernon March 4 due to high levels of dust in the air from winter traction material. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
UPDATE: More road dust continues air quality advisory in Vernon

The advisory will last until the next rainfall or until enough street sweeping work is done

Mountain caribou from an endangered herd have returned to an area adjacent to the area closed to snowmobiling on Queest Mountain. (Jim Elliot/Eagle Valley News)
Return of caribou herd prompts temporary snowmobiling closure near Sicamous

Lake Play area on Queest Mountain closed for the second time this year

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

RCMP stock. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press)
Teen grabbed while jogging in Kelowna

18-year-old woman pulled free, running home and reporting incident to police

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

Most Read