Kids Much Less Prone to Coronavirus Infection Than Adults
Jim Liebelt Jim Liebelt's Blog
- 2020 Sep 28
*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on HealthDay.
Combined data from 32 studies from around the world suggest that children under the age of 10 are much less likely to become infected with SARS-CoV-2 compared with adults, given the same daily contacts.
Children's risk appears to rise with age: Among adolescent and older teenagers, the risk of infection begins to approach that of adults, according to British researchers led by Russell Viner, of the Institute of Child Health at University College London.
Overall, "children and adolescents younger than 20 years had 44% lower odds of secondary infection with SARS-CoV-2 compared with adults 20 years and older," the researchers reported Sept. 25 in JAMA Pediatrics.
Most of the reduction in infection risk was concentrated in kids under the age of 10, Viner's group stressed.
A total of nearly 42,000 children and adolescents, and almost 269,000 adults, were involved in the studies.
The results were especially striking when Viner's group looked at studies conducted within households. In these situations, everyone -- kids and adults alike -- "might be assumed to receive a similar exposure to infection from index cases," the researchers noted.
In household studies, children under 12 had 59% lower odds of becoming infected with the new coronavirus compared to adults, if someone in the home had already been infected.
The researchers also found little evidence of children being good transmitters of the virus in group settings.
Three studies that involved contact tracing within schools -- in Australia, Ireland, and Singapore -- found little evidence of kids spreading SARS-CoV-2 to adults.