As schools reopen, there is increased concern regarding the children’s safety. The Delta COVID-19 variant continues to cause new cases every day in the United States, and it has proved to be more infectious and dangerous than the Alpha strain.
The good news is that children are less likely to develop a severe form of the disease if they become infected. However, according to a new study, children might increase the risks for those in their family, as they appear to be more likely to transmit the virus. A team of researchers realized the study at Public Health Ontario in Canada and is focused on the transmission risks to household members. Researchers compared the transmission between adolescents and young children. The study was conducted during the end of the summer and throughout the fall back in 2020.
According to the results, very young children under the age of three have much higher chances of transmitting the virus to other family members than teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17. Nevertheless, the transmission risk does not equal the transmission rate, and the cause for the infections might be much more straightforward. Toddlers cannot be isolated from the rest of the household as they require constant care. Therefore, other family members get in direct contact with the infected children. On the other hand, adolescents can reduce the transmission risks by self-isolating in a separate room.
“It is essentially impossible for parents to isolate from their sick infants, compared to adolescents who can isolate themselves within the home. Our findings do not mean that children are more [likely to transmit the virus], just that once younger kids [have contracted the virus], they have a higher risk of spreading it in the home,” explained Dr. Schwartz.