According to CNN, researchers from the South Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed data from 59,073 contacts of 5,706 COVID-19 patients. They found that the highest rates of transmission within households, 18.6%, came from school-aged children over the age of 9, and the lowest rates, 5.3%, came from younger kids.
Earlier in the pandemic, scientists reported that children under the age of 18 do not appear to contract and transmit the virus as frequently as adults. The new Korean study breaks down the age categories more specifically on how the disease can be spread. The researchers also found that transmission was far greater with contacts within a household than from non-household contacts, according to ScienceAlert.
“Higher household than non-household detection might partly reflect transmission during social distancing, when family members largely stayed home except to perform essential tasks, possibly creating spread within the household,” the researchers reported.
According to ScienceAlert, this new information sheds a different light on the theory that all children from birth to age 18 are less prone to catching or spreading the disease.
“I fear there has been this sense that kids won’t get infected or don’t get infected in the same way as adults and that, therefore, they are almost like a bubbled population,” Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert from the University of Minnesota, told The New York Times. “There will be transmission. What we have to do is accept that now and include it in our plans.”
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