Research says infected children have as much of the virus in their throats and noses as older patients. Therefore children can be possible carriers of serious infection if the government ends up reopening schools.
Authors of the research also believe that children below age 5 can host 100 times as many coronaviruses in their respiratory tract as other older age groups.
Although this measurement cannot prove how much children can influence the transmission of the virus, it can affect the decision to reopen schools, as noted by several experts.
Dr. Taylor Heald-Sargent is a pediatric infectious diseases expert at Anne and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. She led the study that was published in JAMA Pediatrics. She believes that reopening schools is a complicated thing to do as there are many problems besides those of the scientific kind.
She says one important takeaway from the research is the fact that even though children do not get seriously sick with the virus, it does not mean they can’t carry it in their bodies. The study however is not without criticism. For starters, it was a small study and did not have details of the races or sex of the participants or whether they had previous underlying conditions. The tests also hunted for viral RNA and genetic pieces of COVID-19 instead of a live virus.
Regardless of that, experts were shocked to find that young children can also harbor major amounts of coronavirus in their bodies.
Stacey Schultz-Cherry is a virologist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She says people have previously said that kids are safe from infection but this research proves otherwise.
Jason Kindrachuk is a virologist at the University of Manitoba. He thinks it’s a major step in research figuring out the role that children are carrying out in coronavirus transmission. He notes that now as governments are trying to reopen schools in the next month, this is a factor that requires attention.
Tedros Adhanom is the director of the World Health Organization. He has warned that the pandemic will grow out of control if the basic protection measures aren’t followed. He believes the situation can get far worse than it already is.
After Florida broke the record for the largest coronavirus case increase for a single day, officials and health experts are pushing back Government efforts to reopen schools.
Karla Hernandez-mats is the president of the United Teachers of Dade union, she is also a middle school teacher. She insists risking the health of children is out of the question and the safety of children and colleagues should not be breached. She does not think schools will reopen anytime soon unless there is a 100% virtual model.
WHO officials, have also insisted that decisions about schools need to be made without political biases during the pandemic.
Dr. Michael Ryan is the emergency chief for the organization. He believes schools should not become another game for politics because it is dangerous for the children in the country.
Now that research has provided evidence that children can carry large amounts of the coronavirus, reopening schools is now a question of ethics.C