Children Often Carry More Coronavirus than Adults Do: Study
Anew study is challenging the idea that younger children are somehow less susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Children under the age of five have been found to carry just as much, if not more, coronavirus in their noses and throats than older kids or adults.
The results, published Thursday (July 30) in JAMA Pediatrics, tested 145 people for evidence of the virus’s RNA.
After breaking their participants down into three age categories—younger children, older children, and adults—researchers found that the youngest group harbored between 10 times and 100 times more virus than the other two. While the results cannot speak to children’s ability to transmit the disease to others, they come at a time when schools nationwide weighing the risks of opening again in the fall.
“The school situation is so complicated—there are many nuances beyond just the scientific one,” Taylor Heald-Sargent, a pediatric infectious diseases expert at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital and the lead author on the study, tells The New York Times. “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.”
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