Children below 5 carry 100 times greater Covid-19 caseload than adults

Young children might be important drivers of COVID-19 transmission within communities new study says- a suggestion at odds with the current prevailing narrative

And so far in 2020, fewer children have died from COVID-19 than typically die from the flu in a given year. Only now are clinicians starting to get a glimpse at the potential persistent health consequences of this new virus, and two new studies offer insights into the cardiovascular impact of COVID-19. JAMA Pediatrics published the findings on July 30.

One recent study in South Korea found children aged 10 to 19 transmitted Covid-19 within households as much as adults, but children under nine transmitted the virus at lower rates.

Heald-Sargent and her team analyzed 145 swab samples collected from patients with mild to moderate Covid-19 within a week of symptom onset; 46 of them were from children under 5, 51 were from 5- to 17-year-olds, and 48 were from adults between 18 and 65.

Children under the age of 5 have in between 10 to 100 times higher levels of hereditary product of the coronavirus in their noses compared to older children and grownups, a study in JAMA Pediatrics stated Thursday. But the subject has come up more frequently with the proposed reopening of schools in the fall.

Early reports did not find strong evidence of children as major contributors to SARS-CoV-2 spread owing to school closures ahead of the pandemic and no large-scale investigations of schools in community transmission had been conducted, said the researchers. When researchers compared them to similar elderly COVID-19 patients who did not receive itolizumab, they estimated that treating three such patients with the drug could prevent one intensive care unit (ICU) admission and one death. "We need to take that into account in efforts to reduce transmission as we continue to learn more about this virus". "In addition to public health implications, this population will be important for targeting immunization efforts as SARS-CoV-2 vaccines become available", they said in the study. This was also independent of the severity and overall course of the acute illness, and time from the original diagnosis. Because people with severe infections would be expected to have high viral loads, the team included only individuals with either mild or moderate symptoms.

Infected children younger than age 5 may carry up to 100 times as much of the coronavirus in their noses and throats as adults - while older children carry at least as much as grown-ups, according to new research. Those who needed help breathing were excluded from the study.

According to the study's lead author Taylor Heald-Sargent, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, this may suggest greater transmission of the virus by children than seen in adults.

The second new study looked closely at heart tissue gathered during autopsies of 39 COVID-19 patients.

Important to note is that the genetic material the researchers found is not infectious virus, meaning it's not contagious and a threat to further spread.

Waghmare said that the findings are consistent with other published studies looking at viral loads across a spectrum of respiratory viruses in pediatric populations.

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