Can Children Spread COVID-19? Studies Find Conflicting Results

Aug 3, 2020 | Pratirodh Bureau

A girl reacts as a healthcare worker, sitting inside an ambulance, takes a swab from her to test for the coronavirus disease in Kolkata on July 3, 2020

With more and more people getting infected by the coronavirus around the world, interesting facts and theories about the highly contagious disease are emerging. These facts are related to tips, symptoms, and treatment of COVID-19.

One such is — Are children strong spreaders of the coronavirus disease? A few recent studies have debunked the claims that children are not as strong spreaders as adults. However, there are contrary findings too.

A study was conducted by the Ann & Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, US and has been published in JAMA Pediatrics. The study focused on virus genetic material in the nose in 145 cases of mild to moderate coronavirus within the first 7 days of symptom onset.

The viral load was assessed and compared among three age groups—children under 5, minors aged 5-17, and adults. The findings revealed that children under 5 carry higher virus levels than the other two groups. The hospital stated that the youngest children have the capacity to transmit the coronavirus just like adults.