Children with Covid-19 get out of hospital faster than adults
Share article:
Share article:

Children with Covid-19 get out of hospital faster than adults

Credit: Belga

Children with Covid-19 spend an average of three days in hospital, while the average for adults is eight days, or more than twice as long, a new report by the Sciensano public health institute shows.

Moreover, children make up only 1.6 percent of the total number of hospitalised patients, while they represent 3 percent of confirmed cases.

Sciensano brought together lab data, school data and information from hospital admissions to gain a better understanding of the impact of the new coronavirus on children.

The study period ran from 15 March to 28 June. At that time a total of 1,511 children were reported with a positive covid-19 test.

The number of confirmed cases in children, therefore, is low. Children are tested less, but even if they were tested in the period studied, the result was less often positive than in adults (1.8% versus 6.3).

Related Articles


The number of confirmed cases in children accounted for 3 percent of the total number of infections. Children were responsible for 1.6% of the number of hospitalisations. More than 80% of those hospitalisations were without serious complications.

Remarkably, however, children under 3 months represented a large proportion of hospitalisations in children. “This is probably explained by the fact that fever in these young children is an alarm signal that quickly leads to the performance of a diagnostic test and the fact that a positive test in this age group generates more anxiety,” the report said.

Of the Belgian hospitalised children, 3% ended up in intensive care, while a large European study spoke of 8%. Here, too, Sciensano sees a possible logical explanation, because unlike the Belgian study, the European study mainly took into account input from specialised paediatric hospitals, “as a result of which the hospital population described in that study was possibly more seriously ill.”

With regard to the number of Covid-19 cases in schools, Sciensano knows of 378 infections (270 in pupils and 108 in staff). A ‘limited number’ of secondary cases were reported: 11 staff members and 36 pupils were suspected of being infected after contact at school. Of course, distance learning was the rule during the period under investigation, especially in secondary education.

There is still discussion about the extent to which children contribute to the spread of the virus, according to Sciensano. Foreign studies show that children seldom introduce the disease into their households and do not often pass on the virus at school, but on the other hand, a secondary school in Israel has a major outbreak with 153 infected pupils and 25 infected teachers. German laboratory results of 3,712 covid-19 patients show that the viral load in young children is no different from that in adults.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

New Belgian video game aims to help children who stutter
A new video game by Belgian-American start-up Say It Labs aims to teach children with a stutter various techniques to improve their speech.  ...
More than 1 in 4 Belgians use mobile phones whilst driving
A recent European study into the use of mobile phones whilst driving highlights some alarming results: 26% of Belgians read or send messages on their ...
Belgium in Brief: Memories Of Masks
Belgium's experts are concerned with the rising coronavirus figures. One possible solution could be that, once again, masks are used more widely. ...
Museum Nights Fever returns to Brussels on Saturday night
After a break last year, Museum Nights Fever 2021 is back again with free visits to 32 museums hosting performances, music and other events. The ...
More than €1.5 billion injected into SNCB
More than €1.5 billion in additional funding has been injected into the Belgian railways, Federal Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet told the House ...
Non-vaccinated applicants no longer welcome at ZNA hospitals in Antwerp
The Antwerp hospital group ZNA is only taking on new employees who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to reporting from VRT. ...
Pharmacies prepare to administer more rapid antigen tests
From November, anyone presenting coronavirus symptoms for less than six days will be able to take a rapid antigen test in a pharmacy, announced the ...
Chocolate, Christmas, and cocaine
Do you consider yourself a news buff? Someone constantly on top of what's going on? Then maybe you have what it takes to ace The Brussels Times ...
Introduction of Covid Safe Ticket leads more in Brussels to get vaccinated
The introduction of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) in the Brussels-Capital Region on 15 October seems to have led to a higher number of residents ...
More and more testimonies, and a second rally against sexual violence in Brussels
A second rally against sexual violence was held in the Brussels neighbourhood of Ixelles on Thursday evening, and a sister-rally was held ...
Over 1,000 Covid-19 hospitalisations for first time since early June
The number of patients hospitalised in Belgium as a result of the coronavirus has again exceeded 1,000, climbing to 1,032, according to figures ...
Experts call for more widespread use of masks as figures rise
As coronavirus figures continue to rise, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has suggested that people return to wearing masks when indoors with ...