Children spread Covid-19 faster than adults

Children spread Covid-19 faster than adults: Study

May 10, 2021
-Mita Mukherjee

Children spread Covid-19 infections faster than adults, according to a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The study found that children carry higher “viral load,” than adults and they can spread the virus “more efficiently” compared to adults. “Viral load” is the amount of virus in an infected person’s blood.  

Researchers had conducted the study on children aged below five years who were infected with Covid-19 and showed mild to moderate symptoms.

The results showed that these children carried 10 to 100 times the amount of virus in their nose and throat compared with the amount in adults and older children.

The outcome of the study means children too are at risk of catching the virus and they can also pose a risk to others.

The findings are important as it means there is a need to step up measures for protection and safety of children.

The study is viewed as significant as it throws light on why it is important to vaccinate children.

However, countries like India where vaccination of adults are getting delayed due to shortage of vaccines, may find it difficult to undertake proper vaccination programmes for children.

There is also an acute shortage of infrastructure facilities for treatment of children infected with Covid-19 in most states of India. Very few hospitals have dedicated Covid care units for kids. The first wave had spared children to a large extent but doctors are now mulling increasing the number of Covid beds for children.  

 In states like Maharashtra which is one of the worst hit states in the second wave has started taking preparations for the third wave. The state government  has announced that in view of the third wave a special paediatric task force is being made and steps are being taken to procure special paediatric ventilators  and medicines for kids.

Vaccine makers around the world are testing the vaccines for children with various companies and trying to find out how much dose is needed for various age groups of children.

Also read: Covid-19 & children: Dr. Muffi answers 10 questions parents are asking

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