Are children as likely as adults to acquire COVID-19?
Emerging evidence suggests that children may be less likely to acquire the disease. This is supported in countries that have undertaken widespread community testing, where lower case numbers in children than adults have been found.4 14 44 45 Between 16 January and 3 May 2020, 35,200 children in England were swabbed for SARS-CoV-2 and 1408 (4%) were positive. Children under 16 years old accounted for only 1.1% of positive cases.
Can children transmit the virus?
The importance of children in transmitting the virus is difficult to establish, particularly because of the number of asymptomatic cases, but there is some evidence that their role in transmitting the virus is limited…
According to professor Russell Viner, President of Royal College of Paediatrics and SAGE member:
- There’s very little evidence for the use of masks in schools.
- Children could potentially spread the virus more if they wear masks
One of the largest studies in the world on coronavirus in schools, carried out in 100 institutions in the UK, will confirm that “there is very little evidence that the virus is transmitted” there, according to a leading scientist.
Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and a member of the government advisory group Sage, said: “A new study that has been done in UK schools confirms there is very little evidence that the virus is transmitted in schools.
“This is the some of the largest data you will find on schools anywhere. Britain has done very well in terms of thinking of collecting data in schools.”