It is not yet clear to what extent children will be able to spread coronavirus, but a new study suggests it is possible to transmit the flu as infected adults, Swiss researchers reported Tuesday.
Fewer children than adults contract Covid-19, fewer develop severe forms of the disease and do not appear to be “main drivers of transmission,” but children of all ages have been infected, the researchers said.
“Despite the high proportion of mild or asymptomatic infections, they should be considered transmissible, otherwise not proven otherwise,” the conclusions of researchers from the University Hospitals of Geneva and the University of Geneva concluded.
In the survey, 23 children ranging from 7 years to 16 tested positive for Covid-19 and all, but two carried the same amount of virus as adults.
“Our data show that the viral load at diagnosis is comparable to that of adults and that symptomatic children of all ages spread infectious virus in early acute illness, a prerequisite for further transmission,” the authors wrote. .
However, children do not appear to spread the virus in the same way as adults.
“Considering the relatively low frequency of infected children, even in severely affected areas, biological factors or other unknown factors may lead to lower transmission in this population,” they authored.
They said more research is needed to fully understand the role of children in spreading the virus.
The study had some limitations, including its small size and the use of virus samples removed from routine diagnostic tests.
The research was published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.