Research also revealed that, in the nose of children under 5 years of age, the viral load is even higher compared to the older kids.
A study at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago found that children under 5 years of age with mild or moderate Covid-19 have much higher viral loads in their nose compared to older patients.
To conduct the study, the researchers analyzed 145 patients with Covid-19 who had mild or moderate symptoms in the first week after the onset of symptoms.
Participants were divided into three groups according to their age group (children up to 5 years old, children from 5 to 17 years old and adults from 18 to 65 years old). Each participant had the viral loads on their nose tested.
“We found that children under 5 with COVID-19 have a higher viral load than older children and adults, which may suggest greater transmission,” said Taylor Heald-Sargent, who led the study, in a statement. “This has important public health implications, especially during discussions on the safety of reopening schools and daycare.”
The researchers believe that the ability of younger children to spread the new coronavirus may have been underestimated. “Our study was not designed to prove that younger children spread COVID-19 as much as adults, but it is a possibility,” Heald-Sargent said. “We need to take that into account in efforts to reduce transmission as we continue to learn more about this virus.”