According tomedia reports, although children infected with the new coronavirus of the number of serious cases, there are still exceptions. Doctors in the UK and US have warned that there have been deaths from complications from new coronary pneumonia in patients under the age of 20. Some believe that children are less likely to be infected with the disease and less likely to spread it.
If these assumptions prove to be correct, it may make sense to open schools in areas where the new coronavirus curve flattens. However, new research suggests that children may also spread the disease, suggesting that returning to school and kindergarten may not be an easy process.
The two new studies, from China and Europe, are reported to have analysed different aspects of the disease and focused on young patients and adults. According to the New York Times, while neither study could prove the actual spread of the virus, researchers say children can also transmit the virus.
The first research by China and Italy has been published in Science. The scientists found that children were one-third more likely to be infected with the new coronavirus than adults, but three times as likely to be exposed to the new coronavirus when school started. The study looked at two different cities, Wuhan and Shanghai.
The researchers point out that closing schools could reduce the number of cases by 40-60 percent. “My simulation shows that, yes, if you reopen the school, you’re going to see a huge increase in the number of infections that you don’t want to see,” the math epidemiologist told the New York Times. “
The researchers created a matrix of contacts for the two cities: 636 in Wuhan and 557 in Shanghai. They called everyone and asked them to give a list of people they had contacted the day before the call. They found that the number of connections in Wuhan was seven times lower and that of Shanghai eight times compared to a 2018 study. “The number of contacts has been significantly reduced,” says Dr Ajelli. “
The researchers also looked at data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Hunan Province, which tracked 7,000 contacts out of 137 confirmed cases. They found that children between 0 and 14 years of age were one-third less likely to be infected than in groups 15 to 64. Adults over the age of 65 are 50 percent more likely to be infected with the virus.
Closing schools reduces R0 (new infections caused by individual cases) by 0.3. Epidemiologists around the world aim to keep the number below 1 to prevent exponential growth. If nothing is done, the R0 of SARS-CoV-2 is between 2 and 2.5, which means that a person can infect 2.5 people.
The second study, led by Professor Christian Drosten of the University of Charlotte in Berlin, was published on the university’s official website. The study warns, in the abstract, that based on the findings, researchers must be wary of the indefinite reopening of schools and kindergartens in the current situation, “and that children may be as contagious as adults.” “
Drosten and his team studied a group of 47 infected children, aged between 1 and 11. One of the more than 60,000 people tested in the lab was infected with the new coronavirus. Fifteen of these children showed underlying symptoms and were hospitalized, while the rest were mostly asymptomatic. However, the latter has a viral load as high or higher as a child or adult with symptoms.
Drosten told the New York Times that several of the children had very high viral levels, so his personal advice to politicians about reopening kindergartens and schools was negative.
He added that there are a number of studies that show that a person’s viral load is related to their infectious nature. Drosten said he thinks it’s too early for the U.S. to consider opening schools.