COVID-19 research briefing

Researchers across Birmingham Health Partners are collaborating to produce regular COVID-19 briefings based on the latest literature to support clinical colleagues and disseminate key information.

Led by Kylie Belchamber with colleagues from the University of Birmingham and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (in particular the Birmingham Acute Care Research Group), these updates will be produced on a regular basis.

Infographic with COVID-19 information.


Issue 3: updated 2 April 2020


  • Children are less likely to be diagnosed because the majority only have mild symptoms
  • A small proportion of children become infected, between 1.2% and 10%
  • They generally show symptoms after 2-10 days
  • Death rates are very low in children
  • Around 90% of children only show mild or moderate symptoms
  • Around 5% show no symptoms at all
  • Around 6% require hospital treatment
  • Most common symptoms are a cough and fever, but may also include rhinorrhea (runny nose), vomiting, diarrhoea, sore throat and shortness of breath
  • Lymphopenia (low white blood cells) was only found in around 3.5% of cases, with most common tests showing tachycardia (42%, high heart rate) or tachypnoea (29%, high breathing rate)
  • We don't know yet if children are a major source of transmission
  • There is no evidence the active virus is present in stools
  • In pregnancy, there is no evidence yet if the foetus is affected by COVID-19 in the mother
  • No cases to date from mothers with COVID-19 have had babies with active coronavirus

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