The Headline from Newshub states:

“About 3 pct of young people with COVID-19 experience severe outcomes – study”

This headline would make the average person believe that about 3 per cent of young people with COVID-19 experience severe outcomes.

The study actually looked at “What proportion of SARS-CoV-2–positive youths tested in emergency departments (ED) experience severe outcomes”.

The study only covered youths that presented to an emergency department.

This means youths that are already sick enough to go to the emergency department, not all youths testing positive as the article suggests.

As an aside, most presenting at the ED would probably be because of comorbidities.

The study even says “As recruitment of study participants took place in EDs, our findings overestimate the risk of severe outcomes among SARS-CoV-2-positive youths and should not be interpreted to reflect the risk faced by community-based cases”. The study also says “The proportion of SARS-CoV-2–negative youths who experienced severe outcomes within 14 days did not differ from that among the 3221 SARS-CoV-2–positive youths”. So, youths still had a 3% chance of severe outcomes even if they didn’t have covid.

The Newshub article also says “Among the youth who tested positive for COVID-19, 2510 were not hospitalised and experienced severe outcomes within two weeks of leaving the emergency department.” leading you to believe 2510 youths had severe outcomes. The study says “Among the 2510 SARS-CoV-2–positive youths discharged home from the ED index visit…Twelve children (0.5%; 95% CI, 0.3%-0.8%) had severe outcomes and none died (1-sided 97.5% CI, 0%-0.2%)”. This is very different to what the article led you to believe.

The headline the Canadian Press used for the same story was:

“Children at low risk of developing severe outcomes from COVID-19 infection: study”.

References:

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The BFD Staff

The BFD Staff

A contribution from The BFD staff.