Children are low emitters of COVID and only 8% pass it on to loved ones

Publication: Friday, November 27, 2020 3:18 PM

Only 8% (86 cases) of the 1,081 children under 18 with COVID-19 confirmed between July 1 and October 31 in Catalonia transmitted the coronavirus in their family nucleus, according to a study prepared by the Vall d ‘hospital. Hebron with the help of about 100 primary care pediatricians.

Some data which confirms that minors are small transmitters of the coronavirus. In 783 of the 1081 pediatric cases (ages 0-18) diagnosed with COVID-19 with a positive PCR that were studied, in addition to the 3515 family contacts, an adult in the family was identified as an index case, with a diagnosis of infection with SARS-CoV-2 before the minor.

In addition, she comes in the middle of the debate on the limitations at Christmas, in a few days when the Autonomous Communities and Health are trying to decide what measures will be taken at family gatherings, the limitation of the number of people and whether children should count in these amounts. For example, Núñez Feijoo defends from Galicia that children are not counted as adults, while from Euskadi they pledge not to make a difference.

Likewise, the study also confirms something we already knew: 47% of infected children are asymptomatic. A particularly relevant study, since it was carried out during the summer months and until the first seven weeks after the start of the school year, after the first de-escalation and in the new normal phase.

“The free movement of children and the return to school have not led to greater transmission”

In a first retrospective part of this study, presented last August, it was indicated that 3.4% of pediatric patients with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 in Catalonia between March 1 and May 31 (in full confinement) have transmitted the virus within their family nucleus. In this second part of the study, in 783 cases (72.4% of cases) another family member was identified who clearly showed symptoms of COVID, diagnosed before the minor and in direct contact with him.

It was only in 86 cases (8%) that the minor was determined to have spread SARS-CoV-2 to other family members.

“The free movement of children and their return to school did not lead to a greater transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by them. The vast majority of pediatric patients analyzed were secondary cases, although the home is a space with a considerable disease burden and six in 10 household members participating in the study were diagnosed with covid with microbiological confirmation, ”summarized Pere Soler, head of the Pediatric Infectious Pathology and Immunodeficiency Unit. Vall d ‘Hebron.

The prospective study also indicates that 47% of pediatric patients with coronavirus (a total of 506) are asymptomatic and that the most common symptoms in infected children are fever (70.6% of; 406 children), cough (36.9%, 212 children), headache (24.5%, 141 children), fatigue (24.3%, 140 children) and diarrhea (16.3% 94 children).

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