Visit Our Coronavirus (COVID-19)  Resource Section ⇒ X
Jump to:  A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G   |   H   |   I   |   J   |   K   |   L   |   M   |   N   |   O   |   P   |   Q   |   R   |   S   |   T   |   U   |   V   |   W   |   X   |   Y

Kids Much Less Prone to Coronavirus Infection Than Adults: Study

Kids Much Less Prone to Coronavirus Infection Than Adults: Study

FRIDAY, Sept. 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- 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.

"Data from a large Australian school contact-tracing study suggest that, at a population level, children and adolescents might play only a limited role in the transmission of the virus," the researchers reported. "Other very small studies in Ireland and Singapore have found low numbers of secondary cases resulting from infected children attending school."

However, there's not yet enough good data on child-to-adult transmission to draw firm conclusions, Viner's team stressed. "We remain early in the COVID-19 pandemic, and data continue to evolve," the study authors said.

Drs. Saul Faust and Alasdair Munro, of Britain's National Institute of Health Research Southampton Clinical Research Facility, co-wrote an editorial commenting on the new findings.

Faust and Munro agreed the new data "suggest young children in particular [age less than 12 to 14 years] are less than half as likely to acquire infection with SARS-CoV-2 than adults, given an equivalent, or at least very similar, exposure."

Children also appear to play a minor role in transmission of the virus within schools. Again, data out of England found that "of 30 outbreaks (consisting of 2 or more cases), 22 involved only staff-to-staff or staff-to-pupil transmission," the two experts said.

Faust and Munro also pointed to data on blood antibody testing, which shows that kids have about the same prevalence of infection as do the elderly, even though children likely have had much more daily exposure to SARS-CoV-2 than their grandparents have had during the pandemic.

Of course, all of this data is crucial to decisions around the reopening of schools, Faust and Munro said. Those decisions must always rely on science, not politics, they added.

"The current generation of children are too important to be used as a political football, and all leaders have a responsibility to focus on children and young people's well-being and long-term future," the editorialists concluded.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on the new coronavirus.

SOURCE: JAMA Pediatrics, Sept. 25, 2020, online

Reviewed Date: --

Find a pediatrician
Childrens Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Dr. James Bennett
Dr. J. Marc Cardelia
Dr. Bettina Gyr
Dr. Peter Moskal
Dr. Cara Novick
Dr. Stephanie Pearce
Dr. Carl St. Remy
Sports Medicine
Dr. Joel Brenner
Dr. Aisha Joyce
Dr. Micah Lamb
Dr. David Smith
Infectious Disease
Dr. Randall Fisher
Dr. Laura Sass
Health Tips
Abuse of Prescription ADHD Medicines Rising on College Campuses
Guidelines for Raising Smoke-Free Kids
Helping Kids Get Over their Fears
Parenting Déjà vu: Raising Your Grandchildren
Parents-to-Be Must Communicate
Reading to Kids Helps Their Development
Talking About Sex with Your Teen
Talking With Your Kids About Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco
When Can a Child Wear Contact Lenses
Quizzes
Teen Health Quiz
Diseases & Conditions
Adolescent (13 to 18 Years)
Amenorrhea in Teens
Anatomy of a Child's Brain
Anatomy of the Endocrine System in Children
Anxiety Disorders in Children
Asthma in Children Index
Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) in Children
Bone Marrow Transplant for Children
Brain Tumors in Children
Breast Conditions in Young Women
Chemotherapy for Children: Side Effects
Discipline
Ewing Sarcoma in Children
Female Growth and Development
Firearms
Gynecological and Menstrual Conditions
Gynecological Infections
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) in Children
High Blood Pressure in Children and Teens
Home Page - Adolescent Medicine
Infection in Babies
Inflammatory and Infectious Musculoskeletal Disorders
Inflammatory and Infectious Neurological Disorders
Inguinal Hernia in Children
Insect Bites and Children
Kidney Transplantation in Children
Major Depression in Teens
Meningitis in Children
Menstrual Cramps (Dysmenorrhea) in Teens
Menstrual Disorders
Mood Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Myasthenia Gravis (MG) in Children
Oral Health
Osteosarcoma (Osteogenic Sarcoma) in Children
Overview of Adolescent Health Problems
Pap Test for Adolescents
Pediatric Blood Disorders
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Children
Preparing the School-Aged Child for Surgery
Schizophrenia in Children
School-Aged Child Nutrition
Sports Safety for Children
Superficial Injuries of the Face and Head- Overview
Teens and Diabetes Mellitus
Television and Children
Thalassemia
The Growing Child- Teenager (13 to 18 Years)
The Growing Child: 2-Year-Olds
The Heart
The Kidneys
Your Child's Asthma
Your Child's Asthma: Flare-ups

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.