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A new study suggests that the reason why children get less severe coronavirus infections than adults is because they have a different immune response, NYT reports.

What they're saying: "The bottom line is, yes, children do respond differently immunologically to this virus, and it seems to be protecting the kids," Betsy Herold, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Albert Einstein College of Medicine who led the study, told the Times.

  • The study was published in Science Translational Medicine.

Details: The body has what's called an innate immune response when it encounters an unfamiliar pathogen, and this response is quicker and stronger in children than adults. That's because they're frequently exposed to new pathogens.

  • Adults, on the other hand, have built up more specialized immune responses over time to specific threats, and the innate system fades over time.
  • Since the coronavirus is new to everyone, this gives children an advantage.

Yes, but: Like many other studies on the virus, this one enrolled patients too late in the infection to really understand the innate immune system's immediate response, some experts said.

What we're watching: Children may eventually develop defenses against the virus that keeps them from ever experiencing the same level of infection severity as today's adults, if the virus becomes endemic.

  • "We will eventually age out of this virus," Michael Mina, a pediatric immunologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Epidemiology, told NYT.

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The next wave of the coronavirus is gaining steam

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive is rising across the country, including in states that are also seeing a spike in cases.

Why it matters: High positivity rates indicate a worsening outbreak, and put together with the rise in cases and hospitalizations across the country, suggest that the U.S. is in bad shape.

Oct 20, 2020 - World

Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million coronavirus cases

High school students at an improvised classroom in the yard of their school in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Oct. 13. Photo: Juan Mabromata/AFP via Getty Images

Argentina's health ministry reported 12,982 new coronavirus cases Monday night, taking the country's total to 1,002,662.

Why it matters: Argentina is the fifth country to surpass 1 million COVID-19 cases, after Russia (over 1.4 million), Brazil (more than 5.2 million), India (7.5-plus) and the U.S. (over 8.2 million), per Johns Hopkins. "It means one in every 45 Argentinians have had the virus," the Guardian notes. The country reported Monday that the virus had killed another 451 people, taking the death toll to over 26,000.

Editor's note: The headline of this story has been corrected to show Argentina passed 1 million cases not 5 million.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election — Republican senators defend Fauci as Trump escalates attacks.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — University of Michigan students ordered to shelter-in-place.