As with all things related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the question of whether children are as prone to infection as adults—and their ability to transmit it—has been widely debated. As JUCM News readers know, there is evidence that asymptomatic children are more capable of transmitting the virus than some severely ill adults. On the other hand are data from a study just published in JAMA Pediatrics, indicating that the likelihood of younger patients infecting others may vary—considerably—by age. In seeking to answer the question, What is the evidence on the susceptibility to and transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 among children and adolescents compared with adults?, researchers combed through PubMed and medRxiv to collect data from 32 studies, reflecting 41,640 children (patients under the age of 20, for purposes of the study) and 268,945 adults. Overall, they found 44% lower odds of secondary infection with SARS-CoV-2 among all children compared with subjects 20 years and older. However, this finding was most notable in those younger than 10 years of age. Ultimately, they concluded that children “appear more likely to have asymptomatic infection than adults, and that analyses based on symptom-based series underestimate infections in children.”

The ‘Kids Aren’t Affected by COVID-19’ Stance Gets Closer Scrutiny—with Surprising Results
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