The first rebuttal of the attractive hypothesis that children are less vulnerable to coronavirus was published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this spring. According to experts, the real level of infection in the child population may be tenfold lower.
In a new study, a team of US scientists looked at cases of infection in 1,236 people in 310 families with children in the states of New York and Utah. Experts found that the risk of infection in households with one or more cases is at least 52%.
When scientists analyzed the incidence by age group, it turned out that infection rates per 1000 people were almost identical in all age groups, from children under 4 years old to the elderly.
At the same time, the prevalence of COVID-19 symptoms varied greatly among family members of different ages. The younger the infected person, the higher the likelihood that he will carry the infection asymptomatically. So, 52% of children under 4 years old did not have any signs of the disease, at the age of 5-11 years, the number of asymptomatic carriers was 50% of the total, from 12-17 – 45%, and among adults over 18 years old – 12%.
“Our results show that children and adults have similar rates of SARS-CoV-2, highlighting the need to expand vaccine indications to younger age groups. We also found that children are more likely to be asymptomatic than adults and more data is needed on the risk of infection from asymptomatic carriers, ”the study authors concluded.