Children carry the COVID-19 virus, small study suggests

(Reuters) – Children younger than five ingested large amounts of coronovirus in their upper respiratory tract, a small study published on Thursday showed whether children could infect others.

Data on children as a source of coronavirus prevalence are sparse, and early reports have not found strong evidence for children as major contributors to the deadly virus that has killed 669,632 people globally.

Understanding transmission capacity in children will be important for developing public health guidelines, the researchers said, and published the study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Between March 23 and April 27, 2020, Ann & Robert H. A research team at Lurie Children’s Hospital and Northwestern University tested swab collections from inpatient, outpatient, emergency department, and drive-through testing sites in Chicago, Illinois.

The study included 145 individuals with mild COVID-19, aged between one month and 65 years, who were studied in three groups – children younger than five years, children aged 5 to 17, and 18 to 65 years. Adult of.

Their analysis suggests that the upper respiratory tract of young children had a viral load 10 times to 100 times higher than that of adults.

The viral load in older children with COVID-19 is similar to the level in adults. The study found high amounts of viral nucleic acids – the genetic code of proteins to generate new viruses – in children younger than 5 years.

The study did not look at only viral nucleic acids and infectious viruses, meaning that it is unclear whether children will spread the virus.

Nonetheless, prevalence in young children causes concern about their behavioral habits, and their proximity to schools and day care centers reduces public health restrictions, researchers said.

In addition to the public health implications, the researchers said the results could help focus on this population, targeting vaccination efforts when COVID-19 vaccines are available.

(Reporting by Vishwada Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Arora Ellis)

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