Coronavirus and children, how sick they get and how contagious they are: what we know

31 August 2020 – 15:32

Babies are not immune but generally get less seriously ill. Their role in the spread of the virus seems to increase with age. According to some studies, under 10 years of diffusion capacity halved

of Cristina Marrone

In general, children are “super diffusers” of respiratory diseases (we also think of the flu) but they do not seem to be the main transmitters of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. Caution, even the youngest can transmit the virus and are not immune to it at all but, compared to the rest of the population, only a small percentage of them need hospitalization and most of those who are positive are asymptomatic. In Italy, out of a total of 250,973 confirmed cases, 2,784 concern the 0-9 year group (1.1%) and 4,964 the 10-19 year group (2.0%). The deaths in developmental age (0-18 years) to date are 5. With schools and universities that are about to reopen the health authorities around the world want to understand what is the real role of young people in the spread of the virus to take any countermeasures. A definitive answer does not exist above all for two reasons: it is not always so easy to identify the “index” patient (has he infected or has he been infected?) And in the Northern Hemisphere, with the closure of schools almost everywhere, it has not been possible so far sufficiently large studies on contagiousness in schools. The few investigations that have investigated how much children transmit the virus are observational and often difficult to compare for the method used, local prevention policies and rate of spread of the virus.

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(Getty images)

31 August 2020 | 15:32

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