A recent study has found that children can carry the coronavirus at high levels, according to the New York Times.
- The study discovered that infected children have similar amounts of coronavirus in their noses and throats as infected adults. It even found that children under 5 could have up to 100 times more coronavirus in their upper respiratory tract than adults.
- While the study didn’t determine the rate at which children spread the disease, it is still an important finding, particularly as many schools are gearing to reopen in the coming weeks. Dr. Taylor Heald-Sargent, a pediatric infectious diseases expert at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, who led the study, wrote:
“The school situation is so complicated — there are many nuances beyond just the scientific one. But one takeaway from this is that we can’t assume that just because kids aren’t getting sick, or very sick, that they don’t have the virus.”
- The results from the study are consistent with another study done in Germany involving 47 children infected with coronavirus. That study also showed that infected children had viral loads as high, if not higher, as adults.
- Observations from other countries with reopened schools — “at least in places with mild outbreaks and preventive measures in place” — show that children do not spread the virus very efficiently; however, there is still much unknown about the factors contributing to spread.