(Brian P. Dunleavy/ UPI) — Young children with mild or moderate COVID-19 may have the same or higher amounts of virus in their upper respiratory tracts as older children and adults, a study published Thursday by JAMA Pediatrics found.
This could indicate that children age 5 and younger can “spread the virus as efficiently as adults,” study co-author Dr. Taylor Heald-Sargent told UPI.
“Together, with studies in other viruses that have linked high amounts of virus to increased transmission and the behaviors of young children, it is reasonable to hypothesize [based on our findings] that children could spread the virus as efficiently as adults,” said Heald-Sargent, a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
Larger studies of COVID-19 in children are needed, however, to confirm whether these significant viral loads are a factor in disease transmission, she said. (…)