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Fewer Children Carry Coronavirus Even As Symptoms Than Believed: Study

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Along EJ Mandel
Health Day Reporter

Monday, September 14, 2020 (Health Day News)-Are infected but healthy children the major “silent spreaders” of the new coronavirus? A new study in northern Italy, once a COVID-19 hotspot, suggests that this may not be the case.

A rigorous COVID-19 test of children and adults admitted to a hospital in Milan for reasons other than coronavirus shows that over 1% of children are positive for SARS-CoV-2, compared to over 9% of adults. I understand.

This suggests that children have a very low asymptomatic infection rate and “does not support the hypothesis that children are asymptomatic and at higher risk of carrying SARS-CoV-2 than adults,” the researchers said. Reported in the online version on September 14th JAMA Pediatrics..

One of the US experts in infectious diseases saw this report as promising.

“Since the pandemic began, it has been very difficult to identify the actual role of children in the spread of the virus,” said Dr. Ameshua Darja, a senior researcher at the Johns Hopkins University Health and Safety Center in Baltimore. Stated. ..

“When it comes to spreading the virus in the area, it’s becoming clear that it doesn’t amplify the virus like influenza,” Adalia said.

In the new study, a doctor led by Dr. Carlo Agostoni of the Ca’Granda Foundation Maggiore Polyclinic Hospital in Milan conducted two sets of nasal swab tests at intervals of up to two days in 214 newly admitted patients.

Eighty-three of these new hospitalizations were children and 131 were adults. In March and April, all were admitted to the hospital due to the highest outbreaks of COVID-19 in Northern Italy. However, all patients were hospitalized for reasons unrelated to COVID-19 and no one showed symptoms of the disease.

Still, how many people were secretly carrying the virus? Based on the swab test, only 1.2% of pediatric patients were positive for infection, compared to 9.2% of adults.

The low transport rate of children in cities with a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases means that [children’s] The role of SARS-CoV-2 as a promoter of infection spread may be reconsidered, “the study authors wrote.

Still, researchers emphasized that this is a small sample from one hospital, so the findings should not be considered definitive.

And, of course, there is an outbreak in the United States in the COVID-19 community associated with asymptomatic but infected children. On Friday, researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report on a series of cases that occurred at two Salt Lake City day care facilities. In this report, 12 adolescents enrolled in a two-day care center were infected with the coronavirus (only 3 showed symptoms) and easily passed SARS-CoV-2 to at least 12 families, of which One of them was hospitalized.

Therefore, as millions of children return to school, uncertainty about their role in the COVID-19 epidemic continues, Adalja said.

“This new study provides further evidence that children, even asymptomatic, are less likely to get infected than adults,” he said, “there are important questions to answer clearly. : Are they the major drivers of the outbreak? “

For more information

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention New coronavirus..

Source: Ameshua Darha, MD, Senior Researcher, Center for Health Security, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; JAMA Pediatrics, September 14, 2020, online

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