A joint study by Swiss and British scientists showed that young children most likely do not play a significant role in the spread of the virus and are much less likely to get infected than adults, Yahoo News writes with reference to The Telegraph.
A study conducted with the Royal College of Pediatricians and the Swiss Department of Health included data from different countries, including WHO information gathered through contact chain tracking.
Summing up the findings, the authors state that “COVID-19 appears to affect children less frequently and with less severity, including frequent asymptomatic or subclinical infections. There are signs of a critical illness, but it is rare. The role of children in the transmission of infection is unclear, but it is likely that they do not play a significant role. ”
The authors note that a joint Chinese-WHO contact-tracking commission did not find a single episode when transmission occurred from child to adult. They also recall the story of a 9-year-old British boy who contracted a coronavirus in the French Alps, but did not pass it on to any of the 170 people he had contact with after infection. This boy, who had a positive test, also had the flu and a cold with which he infected his brothers and sisters, but not one of his relatives caught the coronavirus.
The epidemiologists who conducted the study believe that the milder form in which the disease occurs in children may explain why they do not transmit the virus.
If the findings of the study are confirmed, the closure of schools - a measure that has been adopted in many countries - can be considered meaningless. In the meantime, based on the results of this work, the Swiss Ministry of Health announced that children under the age of 10 can hug their grandparents again, because they do not pose any risk for them.