As students prepare to return to school, a new study will track the rate of new spread of the coronavirus among children and their families.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) is investigating transmission among nearly 2,000 households in the US.
Researchers hope to determine the percentage of children who become infected, how many adults subsequently contract the virus, and whether the infection differs between children with asthma or other allergic conditions and children who don’t.
It’s because several studies and anecdotal reports have been published in the past month showing that children of all ages have become infected and then pass the disease on to their relatives.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease will look at coronavirus transmission among nearly 2,000 US households. Pictured: Elementary school students with masks walk from the gym to class to begin their day of school in Godley, Texas, Aug. 5
Researchers are tracking the percentages of children who become infected and household members who subsequently contract the virus. Pictured: Elementary school students walk to classes in masks to begin their school day in Godley, Texas, Aug. 5
“Our schools are little mini-microcosms of our cities they are in – what happens in cities is what’s going to happen in schools,” said lead author Dr. Tina Hartert, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. . The Wall Street Journal.
Until somehow definitive data is available, we have reason to believe, based on decades of data from other respiratory viruses, that children are very good transmitters. There is not much reason to believe that this would not be the case with this virus. ‘
President Donald Trump has pushed for schools across the country to fully reopen for the fall semester.
He called recommendations on school reopening from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “ very hard and expensive guidelines ” on Twitter earlier this month.
Trump also threatened to cut funding if learning institutions don’t fully reopen.
However, public health experts have said that schools should prepare with more than just social distance and masks, but also by testing students and staff and, if someone tests positive, determining how long they will stay in quarantine.
Some countries have been successful, such as Norway and Denmark, but many – including France, Israel and South Korea – have had to close schools after reopening due to peaks in infections.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an outlier, calling for face-to-face classes in the fall and making a statement stating that “ schools are fundamental to the development and well-being of children and adolescents. ”
But a recent one report The organization found that in the last two weeks of July, about 97,000 children contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
That’s an increase of 40 percent from the total number of cases before the 14-day study period.
What’s more, a CDC report found that at least 260 campers and staff became infected with the coronavirus at a summer camp in Georgia in June.
Health officials say some camp workers had to wear cloth masks, but campers didn’t, and that large groups of children slept in poorly ventilated cabins and likely spread contagious droplets into the air while singing or cheering.
While some reports have raised awareness of children becoming infected, others have increased the risk of their family members.
A study of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at more than 59,000 contacts of 5,706 COVID-19 patients in South Korea from January 20 to March 27.
They found that the highest COVID-19 rate among household members was for children between the ages of 10 and 19, with 18.6 percent testing positive.