Coronavirus: Can children spread COVID-19? Studies find conflicting results

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New Delhi | August 3, 2020 1:37 PM

Coronavirus COVID-19 update: A study underlined that children do acquire Covid-19 from adults instead of transmitting it to them.

Coronavirus tips, Coronavirus cases, Coronavirus news, Coronavirus in India, Coronavirus cases in India, Coronavirus treatment, COVID19 India, COVID19 tracker, COVID19 world, COVID19 updateCoronavirus COVID-19 update: A few recent studies have debunked the claims that children are not as strong spreaders as adults. (Representative image by Reuters)

Coronavirus COVID-19 update: With more and more people getting infected by Coronavirus around the world, interesting facts and theories about the highly contagious disease are emerging. These facts are related to tips, symptoms, and treatment of COVID-19. One such is—Are children strong spreaders of Coronavirus disease? A few recent studies have debunked the claims that children are not as strong spreaders as adults. However, there are contrary findings too, as per a report published in The Indian Express.

A study was conducted by Ann & Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago in the US and has been published in JAMA Pediatrics. The study focused on virus genetic material in the nose in 145 cases of mild to moderate coronavirus within the first 7 days of symptom onset. The viral load was assessed and compared among three age groups—children under 5, minors aged 5-17, and adults. The findings revealed that the age group of children under 5 carrying higher virus levels than the other two groups. The hospital stated that the youngest children have the capacity to transmit the Coronavirus just like adults.

There are two studies that focused on contact tracing. One has been conducted in Italy and another was done in South Korea. The first study was conducted in Trento province in Italy during March and April. Researchers found 6,690 community contacts from 2,812 COVID-19 cases. Around 13 per cent of the total had developed COVID-19 symptoms. The study said that children were more likely to transmit the disease into household members.

In South Korea, a study was conducted on 59,073 contacts of 5,706 COVID-19 cases. The study revealed that upper age group children and teenagers are likely to be strong spreaders of Coronavirus.

Journal Pediatrics American Academy of Pediatrics carried a Switzerland-based study. The study says ‘COVID-19 Transmission and Children: The Child Is Not to Blame’. Even a China-based study had similar claims. The study was conducted between March 10 and April 10. The study focused on all children under age 16 who were diagnosed at Geneva General Hospital. However, out of the total 40 households, only three had children as index cases. The study underlined that children do acquire Covid-19 from adults instead of transmitting it to them.

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