The rate of coronavirus genetic material detected in the noses of children under the age of five is 10 to 100 times higher than that found in older children and adults, according to a US study published Thursday.
Very young children could therefore be major propagators of the virus in the population, according to this study published in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics, a hypothesis going against the current discourse.
Between March 23 and April 27, researchers in Chicago conducted nasal swab screening tests on 145 patients with mild to moderate Covid-19 disease a week after their first appearance. symptoms. The patients were divided into three groups: 46 children under five, 51 children aged 5 to 17 and 48 adults between 18 and 65.
The team observed the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in quantity “10 to 100 times higherTo others in the airways of young children. The authors of the study said that a laboratory study had shown that the more genetic material there was in the virus, the more contagious it could become.
«Therefore, young children can potentially be important factors in the contagion of SARS-CoV-2 in the population.“, According to scientists. “The usual behaviors of young children and the closed spaces in schools and daycares raise the question of a spread of SARS-CoV-2 in this population as health measures soften.»
These results do not support the health authorities who believe that young children do not transmit the virus much, especially since it has been established that they are less likely to contract a severe form of the disease. However, little research has been done on this subject so far.
Children between 10 and 19 transmit the virus as much as adults in a household, according to a study in South Korea, but children under nine transmit it less.