Researchers have found that the genetic quality of the new coronavirus gene in the nasal cavity of children under 5 years of age is 10 to 100 times higher in adults and older children, meaning that young children may be the main “driver” of the virus’s spread in the community, Singapore’s Union Morning Post reported. The study was reportedly published in JAMA Pediatrics. Between March 23 and April 27, researchers tested 145 patients with mild to moderate disease in Chicago on a nasal swab during the week of their symptoms.
The patients were divided into three groups: 46 children under 5 years of age, 51 children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 17, and 48 adults between the ages of 18 and 65.
The team, led by Dr. Sargent of Ann and Lurie Children’s Hospital, observed that “the genetic material of the new coronavirus in the upper respiratory tract of young children is 10 to 100 times higher than in adults or older children”.
The authors added that a recent laboratory study showed that the more viral genetic material in patients, the more infectious viruses multiply.
Previous studies have also shown that high levels of respiratory fusion virus (RSV) in young children are more likely to spread the disease.
“As a result, young children may be an important driver of the spread of the new coronavirus in the population,” the team said. “They argue that the behaviour of young children, coupled with the confined space in schools or nurseries, has raised concerns about the spread of the new crown virus among this group. “
However, the study group’s conclusions are contrary to those of the health authorities. It is now widely believed that young children are less likely to develop serious illness and are less likely to transmit the virus than adults.