A commentary published in the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics found that children are not the transmitter of the novel coronavirus, at least most of the time.
The commentary appeared on journal Pediatrics, and it concludes that children infrequently transmit the virus among themselves, as well as in the adults.
This finding comes at a time when the US political scene is polarised with President Trump’s push to re-open schools this Fall, and the administrations including groups of teachers and doctors rallying otherwise.
What is more, the commentary even claims that children could and must be sent to school this Fall, under certain criteria like strict social distancing and accordingly checking transmission in the community, a release by the University of Vermont in ErekAlerts says.
“The data are striking. The key takeaway is that children are not driving the pandemic,” Dr. William V. Raszka, Jr., M.D, who’s a pediatric infectious disease specialist on the faculty of the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine and also an associate editor of the journal Pediatrics.
“After six months, we have a wealth of accumulating data showing that children are less likely to become infected and seem less infectious; it is congregating adults who aren’t following safety protocols who are responsible for driving the upward curve,” Dr. Raszaka said.
The commentary was co-authored by Dr. Benjamin Lee, M.D., who also happens to be a practicing pediatric infectious disease specialist in the same school. Both the doctors commented on 4 studies conducted in Switzerland, China, France, and New South Wales, in the commentary titled- “COVID-19 Transmission and Children: The Child Is Not to Blame.”
For instance, the French study found a boy with COVID-19, even after exposed to 80 classmates over three scholls, infected none. However, transmission of oither similar ilness like influenza was more common in schools.
In the same way, a New South Wales Study found, eighteen students and staff infected with COVID-19 from 15 schools has exposed the virus to 735 students and 128 staff all total. Surprisingly, despite so much exposure, only two secondary infections emerged and one was transmitted to a child from an adult, not the other way.
Texas spread could me misinterpret
In the commentary, the doctors have pointed out that the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in child daycares. as Texans battle the biggining-level outbreak.
According to reports, coronavirus cases in the Texas child care operations have surpassed 1700 on July 9th – a 759% spike as compared to the last month. However, of the 1,799 reported total cases, 592 were children, and rest all adults.
Commentary author Dr. William V. Raszka, Jr., M.D. says: “While we don’t yet know the dynamics of the outbreak, it is unlikely that infants and children in daycare are driving the surge. Based on the evidence, it’s more plausible that adults are passing the infection to the children in the vast majority of cases.”
He noted, many adults today in texas are congregating without social distancing or wearing masks. Validating their claim about reopening schools this Fall, the authors say mathematical modeling also shows favorable results about children as unlikely vectors of the virus and claimed closing schools does little.
They drew a comparison with many European and Japanese schools already thrown open, without documenting any rise in COVID-19 community transmission, and say that this testimony bears the accuracy of the modeling.
The dilemma of classrooms
Returning back to school has been a perplexing decision for all, starting from politicians, educators as well as parents whose children will be attending. According to UNICEF, as many as 70 countries will reopen soon, and hundreds of millions are already attending as of early June 2020. Over a billion students are still yet to return back to the classrooms.
UNICEF notes that schools around the world if at all it reopens must have the best interest of children in mind along with strict social distancing and hygiene protocols, as the authors of the new commentary have said.
“It’s possible that schools may reopen for a period of time and then a decision may be made to close them again temporarily, depending on the local context,” UNICEF writes in their blog.