Children under the age of five can make up to 100 times as much as their nasal and throat coronavirus as infected adults and older children, according to a Chicago study.
“Our analyzes suggest children younger than 5 years with mild to moderate ACVID-19 have high amounts of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in their nasopharynx compared to older children and adults,” the researchers stated in study published in JAMA Pediatrics on Thursday.
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“Young children may potentially be important SARS-CoV-2 drivers in the general population, as demonstrated by respiratory syncytial virus, where children with high viral load are more likely to transmit,” they wrote.
The authors stated in the report that although their findings did not show children infected with COVID-19 were contagious, other pediatric studies found a correlation between the presence of higher levels of nucleic acid with a culture-enhancing ability. -infective virus.
The study was conducted between March 23 and April 27 and led by Taylor Heald-Sargent from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. One hundred and forty-five patients were separated into three groups according to their ages. These groups included: 48 adults, aged 18 to 65, 51 children aged 5 to 17, and 46 children under 5 years.
The team of investigators performed nasal swab tests on patients who showed onset of mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms within a week. By the end, the researchers found that “young children have one or more viral nucleic acid equivalents in their upper respiratory tract compared to older children and adults,” the study authors wrote.
The authors also stated in their report that differences in the material found in the tests revealed “an amount greater than 10 times to 100 times of SARS-CoV-2 in the upper respiratory tract of young children.”
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The findings dispel previous beliefs that children did not play a major role in coronavirus transmission, they stated that they noted that “early school closure in the pandemic response disrupted larger-scale investigations of schools as a source. community transmission system. “
The findings highlight the importance of understanding the potential for transmission in children – especially as schools reopen.
“Behavioral habits of young children and close quarters in schools and day care settings raise concerns about SARS-CoV-2 amplification in this population as well as the restrictions on public health alleviated, “they wrote. “In addition to the public health implications, this population will be important in targeting vaccination efforts by making SARS-CoV-2 vaccine available.”