For more than 2 months, the attention of the whole world has been riveted to the outbreak of coronavirus. According to reports, the virus is able to spread by airborne droplets and contact routes, and one person is able to infect about 2.2 others on average. But over time, the question of whether the children of CoVID-2019 is sick has become especially relevant. We recently told you that coronavirus affects even domestic animals, but so far few cases have been reported among children. Today, researchers have come to the conclusion that children, too, get coronavirus simply in a mild form. But why?
Children get CoVID-19 in a different way
According to the research, out of more than 72,000 confirmed cases in China, children under 10 years of age accounted for less than 1%. Of the 1,023 deaths recorded in China at the height of the outbreak, there was no child. But why? As a rule, all respiratory pathogens primarily affect two groups - young and old people, but in the case of coronavirus, everything is different. As shown by the results of the meta-analysis, the fact is that children don't get very ill.
Scientists monitored quarantined patients to determine how symptoms would appear and whether it was possible to get the new coronavirus unnoticed. The team found that children aged 9 years and younger are also susceptible to infection, like other age groups. In this case, the children`s symptoms aren't so pronounced as in adults. Moreover, many children didn’t show any symptoms at all.
Can children play a role in the spread of coronavirus?
The findings don't explain why children develop a milder form of the disease. But earlier studies conducted on a genetic relative of the SARS-CoV-2 virus provide some clues: during the outbreak in 2003, not a single young person under the age of 24 died.
It may take years before scientists figure out the mechanism why CoVID-19 harms children less. However, the most alarming is another question: if children can become infected, they probably play a role in the further spread of the disease, as their milder symptoms may go unnoticed. For this reason, researchers believe that quarantining schools and kindergartens could be an important step in preventing further transmission.