One year in this pandemic and there are still questions that are unclear. Health experts agreed that COVID-19 doesn’t affect children the way it affects adults. According to the new study, children can infect family members to a much higher level than adults. The researchers believe it is up to a 60% high chance to get an infection from a child than an adult.
The new findings have changed how health care were dealing with toddlers-linked COVID-19 cases before. This new study suggests that infectivity by children should be taken the same way as adults, because both of them are spreading COVID-19/ Particularly, the school reopening decisions should not ignore this highly significant link between adult infection transmission by the children.
For understanding this link, the research team took data from nearly 27,000 families based in Wuhan city of China, where this pandemic initially started. This data was extracted between Dec 2019 when the infectious spread was in first phase and continued till April 2020, which was a peak time of this pandemic.
This evidence on transmission of COVID-19 showed that children and adults both shed this virus at the same rate. The biggest reason which makes children highly susceptible of spreading infections is their close physical contact with adults, who care and love them.
But the overall household COVID-19 from infected children was rather limited, mainly because these children will immediately be isolated for protection and care. This study reports that children below 1 years of age were more likely to get infected as compared to older children. Their under-development immune system and dependence on children may also contribute to their high infection risk.
Interestingly, the currently available COVID-19 vaccine is not recommended for children. Also there are least chances that the COVID-19 vaccine for children will be available anytime soon. But during the time this vaccine is developed, it is necessary to provide protection to these care takers and families of infected children.
The study authors have suggested that caretakers should also be given a priority to receive COVID-19 vaccine. As there is no way to know if infected transmitted from children is the same as that of adults, it is hard to predict the long term affects.
The study has also made other revealing such as asymptomatic patients experience a lesser extent of the severity of complications as compared to symptomatic patients. it also tells that the presymptomatic patients are 40% more likely to infect others as compared to symptomatic patients.
The risk of a transmitted infection by COVID-19 patient is almost same as that of other respiratory infections. It also identifies that older people in family are more likely to get infected as compared to the young people in the house.
The research team recommends following the prevention guidelines shared by CDC and take extra care if any family member gets infected. This study is now published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, online.