01/5Kids under the age of five may carry high levels of virus, says a new study

While the novel coronavirus continues to wreak havoc across the globe, children have been largely known to be sheltered from the novel contagion. According to the World Health Organization, the direct impact of COVID-19 on child mortality seems to be ‚Äúvery limited.‚ÄĚ The available research so far dictates that children and adolescents may be at a lower risk of developing illness from the novel coronavirus when compared to adults and elderlies.

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02/5‚ÄčChildren may be carrying high levels of coronavirus: Findings of a new study

A new study has found that kids under the age of five carry 10 to 100 times more genetical material of the novel coronavirus in their noses when compared to adults. The pathbreaking study has been published in the journal JAMA Paediatrics and shed lights on the fact that young children could be the drivers of transmission of novel coronavirus within household and communities.

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03/5‚ÄčHow was the study conducted

To conduct this study, the researchers took nasal swabs of 145 patients in Chicago, within one week of onset of symptoms. The patients had developed mild to moderate symptoms of the disease. Out of 145 patients, 46 were young children (age less than 5 years), 51 children (age between 5 to 17) and 48 were adults aged between 18 to 65.

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04/5‚ÄčThe findings of the research

After studying the nasal swabs of the Chicago patients, it was found that young children (aged less than five) had 10 to 100 times greater amount of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in their upper respiratory tract. According to a report published in AFP, a recent lab study had demonstrated that the more viral genetic material (higher nucleic acid levels) was present, the more the infection capabilities.

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05/5The bottom line

As per the news agency, it has been reported in the past that children with high viral loads of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are more likely to spread the disease. RSV is known to cause respiratory tract infections in humans. While earlier reports did not find strong evidence of children as major contributors to SARS-CoV-2 spread, the recent study has highlighted the importance of ‚Äútargeting immunization efforts in children as SARS-CoV-2 vaccines become available‚ÄĚ.

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