Young children carry higher levels of coronavirus, says study

Grant Boone
August 1, 2020

Patients had mild to moderate illness within a week of symptom onset, and participants included 46 children younger than age 5, 51 children ages 5-17, and 48 adults ages 18 and older.

Young children with mild or moderate COVID-19 may have the same or higher amounts of virus in their upper respiratory tracts as older children and adults, a study published Thursday by JAMA Pediatrics found.

The team believes that the study findings are significant, especially during discussions on the safety of reopening schools and daycare. By the end, the researchers found that "young children have equivalent or more viral nucleic acid in their upper respiratory tract compared with older children and adults", the study authors wrote. But researchers said that children under nine transmitted the virus at lower rates.

For this study, Heald-Sargent and her colleagues took a look back at nasal samples taken from 145 patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

Smit said it has been demonstrated before with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and his own group's research, published as a research letter in JAMA Network Open in mid-May, showed the same thing with the seasonal coronaviruses. Children, so far, are less affected by this virus.

It is now widely known that the novel coronavirus affects the lungs of the patient, but a new study has indicated that the virus may also affect the heart in the long term.

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Robert Redfield and Admiral Brett Giroir, assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, also testified. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr.

The authors said this raises concerns because the behavioral habits of young children close together in school or daycare could lead to a serious spread. Which means they have just as much of the virus - if not more - present there than adults and older kids. All were diagnosed in March and April.

"Kids certainly have virus and are replicating virus in their nose as efficiently, if not more efficiently, than adults", Heald-Sargent said.

While much attention has been focused on the volume of deaths caused by COVID-19, now that we are six months into this global pandemic researchers are beginning to see signs of chronic health problems in recovered patients. In Germany, Christian Drosten, a virologist (who coincidentally went viral), and his team had similar conclusions, noting that "in particular, these data indicate that viral loads in the very young do not differ significantly from those of adults". Their computer models assumed that students with positive tests or with COVID-19 symptoms would be moved to an isolation dormitory. Also, studies in children about COVID-19 shows a correlation between higher nucleic acid levels and the ability to culture infectious virus.

Heald-Sargant added that more studies should be carried out to know whether these children will transmit the infection to adults. "Any grade-school teacher or pediatrician will tell you, [young children] are pretty effective little vectors of virus transmission, because we get sick a lot in the winter from these kids", she says to CNN.

The new findings are at odds with the current view among health authorities that young children - who, it has been well established, are far less likely to fall seriously ill from the virus - don't spread it much to others either.

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