THURSDAY, July 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Children with COVID-19 carry as much or more coronavirus in their nose as adults, suggesting that they could pose a serious infection risk if schools and day care centers reopen, a new study argues.
Coronavirus testing performed in Chicago in March and April shows that children and teens tend to have as much virus in their nasal passages as adults, according to a research letter published online July 30 in JAMA Pediatrics.
"It's concerning the youngest individuals were the ones with the highest amount of virus," said lead researcher Dr. Taylor Heald-Sargent, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago.
The findings call into question earlier epidemiological studies seemingly showing that children do not tend to spread the novel coronavirus between themselves or regularly infect adults.
"Some of the arguments that have been made in regard to schools and day cares opening is that perhaps children are unable to make the virus as efficiently in their nose, and that's why they're not as sick," Heald-Sargent said.