A study published by JAMA Pediatrics This would confirm a latent fear among researchers: children under the age of five would be potent vectors of contagion for the coronavirus, carrying a viral load much higher than the rest of the population. Specifically, the study highlights that minors of the aforementioned age carried between ten and one hundred times the level of genetic material of the COVID-19 under their noses than older children and adults.
This high contagion capacity of this segment of the population could explain why outbreaks of the disease are reproducing in certain countries, since in some countries – as is the case in Spain – they do not even have a legal obligation to carry a mask. This jug of cold water also arrives when there are only a few weeks left until schools and kindergartens in certain countries could resume their activity and it is feared that infections will skyrocket if they are finally reopened in the next academic year.
The researchers conducted this study between March 23 and April 27 and by analyzing nasal swab samples among 145 Chicago patients. Specifically, the samples were taken from patients with mild or moderate symptoms of the disease and within the first week in which the symptoms appeared.
The researchers divided the patients into three different groups based on their age: children under five years old, between five and seventeen years old and adults between eighteen and sixty-five years old. And the results of the study were overwhelming: the amount of SARS-CoV-2 among the first group was between 10 and 100 higher in the analyzes carried out in the upper respiratory tract.
This study would show that the smallest would be important vectors for the transmission of the disease, but most of them with very mild or asymptomatic symptoms: “Children are carriers of high levels of coronavirus: up to 100 times more viral load than an adult,” concludes in the report, as we can read in Infobae. All in all, those responsible for the study clarify that the high possibility of being carriers is not attributed to the smallest children for certain, since insufficient studies have been carried out in this group of the population.
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