Children under the age of five can carry up to 100 times more coronavirus in their noses and throats than infected adults and older children, according to a study done by Chicago.
“Our analyzes suggest that children under 5 years of age with mild to moderate COVID-19 have high levels of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in their nasopharynx compared to older children and adults,” they said. researchers in the study published in JAMA Pediatrics on Thursday.
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“Young children could potentially be significant drivers of SARS-CoV-2 prevalent in the general population, as demonstrated by respiratory syncytial virus, where children with high viral loads are more likely to transmit,”; they said. write them.
The authors stated in the report that although their findings did not prove that children infected with COVID-19 were contagious, other pediatric studies found a link between the presence of higher levels of nucleic acid and an ability to cultivate the infectious virus.
The study was conducted between March 23 and April 27 and was led by Taylor Heald-Sargent of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in agoikago. One hundred and forty-five patients were divided into three groups according to their age. These groups included: 48 adults, aged 18 to 65 years, 51 children aged 5 to 17 years and 46 children under 5 years.
The team of investigators performed nasal swab tests on patients who showed an onset of mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 within a week. In the end, the researchers found that “young children have viral nucleic acid equivalent or more in the upper respiratory tract, compared to older children and adults,” the study authors wrote.
The authors also stated in their report the changes in the material found in the tests revealed “a 10-fold to 100-fold greater amount of SARS-CoV-2 in the upper respiratory tract of young children.”
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The findings refute previous beliefs that children did not play a major role in coronavirus transmission, they said, noting that “closing schools early in pandemic responses hampered large-scale school investigations as a source of community transmission.”
The findings reveal the importance of understanding the potential for transmission to children – especially when schools reopen.
“The behavioral habits of young children and nearby neighborhoods in school and day care settings raise concerns about the amplification of SARS-CoV-2 in this population as public health constraints have been eased,” they wrote. “In addition to the public health implications, this population will be relevant to the target of immunization efforts as SARS-CoV-2 vaccines become available.”