No one is safe from coronavirus, especially children around five years old or younger. A new study finds they may carry 10 to 100 times more coronavirus compared to adults. According to NBC Chicago, the researchers involved in the study said, the capability of kids to spread the novel coronavirus may have been under-recognized.
While some of the previous studies implied that coronavirus infects children at a lower rate than young adults and adults, a new study published in Chicago opposed the previous findings.
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The Scientists reported that the new study of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital revealed that children under five years old might carry just as much SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA, or even more. The coronavirus may even linger in their throats and nose. JAMA Pediatrics published the findings on July 30.
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The researchers observed 145 COVID-19 patients for evidence of coronavirus’ RNA. Researchers divided the participants into three age categories which are adults, older children, and younger children. The result suggested that the youngest group carried 10 times pr 1000 times coronavirus’ RNA than the two remaining groups.
Although the study cannot determine children’s ability to transmit the viral disease to other people, it can still provide essential information since the schools nationwide are weighing the risks of opening again this fall.
“The school situation is so complicated-there are many nuances beyond just the scientific one,” said a pediatric infectious disease expert at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, Taylor Heald-Sargent, who is also the lead author of the new study.
“But one takeaway from this is that we can’t assume that just because kids aren’t getting sick, or very sick, that they don’t have the virus,” added Ms. Taylor.
The doctors must take a standard nasopharyngeal swab to determine the viral load in patients. Once they extracted the samples, they will use a quantitive polymerase chain reaction or “qPCR.”
It was explained that the samples acquired from the children mostly had lower CTs– means that the younger participants carry more virus in their samples from the start. On the other hand, the CTs observed in the samples of adults and older children were more comparable.
“It definitely shows that kids do have levels of a virus similar to and maybe even higher than adults,” explained Taylor.
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Written by: Giuliano de Leon.