New research finds older children can transmit COVID-19 just as much as adults

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A researcher of CapitalBio Corporation shows a virus nucleic acid detection kit for six respiratory pathogens on March 10. Six respiratory pathogens, including the COVID-19, can be detected simultaneously within one and a half hours, requiring samples of only respiratory droplets. (Photo by Jiang Wenjie, People’s Daily Online)
A researcher of CapitalBio Corporation shows a virus nucleic acid detection kit for six respiratory pathogens on March 10. Six respiratory pathogens, including the COVID-19, can be detected simultaneously within one and a half hours, requiring samples of only respiratory droplets. (Photo by Jiang Wenjie, People’s Daily Online)

Children between the ages of 10 and 19 can transmit COVID-19 within a household just as much as adults, according to new research published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Researchers from the South Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed reports for 59,073 contacts of 5,706 COVID-19 index patients reported in South Korea during January 20 to March 27.

Of 10,592 household contacts, 11.8 percent had COVID-19, and rates were higher for contacts of children than adults, according to the study. Of 48,481 non-household contacts, 1.9 percent had COVID-19.

Researchers also found the highest COVID-19 rate at 18.6 percent for household contacts of school-aged children and the lowest at 5.3 percent for household contacts of children 0-9 years in the middle of school closure.

“Rates were higher for contacts of children than adults,” said the authors. “These risks largely reflected transmission in the middle of mitigations and therefore might characterize transmission dynamics during school closure.” Enditem

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