A recent study upends the common belief that young children play a minimal role in spreading COVID-19.
In the cohort study by the Public Health Ontario and published in the JAMA Pediatrics journal, the researchers discovered that the odds of household transmission in groups ages 0 to 3 years old is 1.43 times higher than adolescents (ages 14 to 17 years old). The youngest bracket also offers more risk than the 4 to 8 and 9 to 13-year-old age bracket.
Study implications to date
What do these results suggest? Younger children may be more likely to transmit the SARs-CoV-2 to parents, older siblings, and other senior adults like caregivers and grandparents who live with them.
The study, which focused on 6,280 households with pediatric cases does not say the toddlers are more contagious than adults. But they can spread coronavirus easily in the household than teens.
The next step for scientists is to see if there are differences in the odds of household transmission based on the children's ages.
In the early stages of the pandemic, reports about pediatric household transmission were low and understudied. What is clear about the study’s data is the need for heightened vigilance — we should not think we cannot get the virus from kids.
It needs to inform the precautions we need to take to prevent transmission within households and schools in the future Family members must implement stringent hygiene habits at home to minimize the risk of passing the contagion. Enforce strict social distancing and do hand washing to minimize the risk of secondary household transmission.
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After local transmission of the Delta variant was confirmed by the Department of Health, COVID-19 in children are on the rise. In these dangerous times wherein the virus keeps on mutating, it is imperative to stay vigilant and avoid complacency.
Click here for advice from Pinoy pediatricians on how to protect your kids amid the rise in COVID-19 cases.