(LOS ANGELES) — According to a new study from The Journal of Pediatrics, children are more capable of spreading the COVID-19 coronavirus than initially thought.
When researching the role children play in community spread, the study found that children could play a larger role. Researchers studied 192 patients under the age of 22 and found that 49 were COVID-positive. During a second round of testing, 18 more developed late-onset symptoms.
The study claims that in the first two days of infection, children carry a higher concentration of the virus in their airways than adults hospitalized in the ICU.
Harvard University praised the study, calling it “the most comprehensive study of COVID-19 pediatric patients to date.”
Lael Yonker, lead author of the study, said “I was surprised by the high levels of virus we found in children of all ages, especially in the first two days of infection.”
“I was not expecting the viral load to be so high. You think of a hospital, and of all of the precautions taken to treat severely ill adults, but the viral loads of these hospitalized patients are significantly lower than a ‘healthy child’ who is walking around with a high SARS-CoV-2 viral load,” cautioned Yonker, who is also the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Cystic Fibrosis Center in Boston.
COVID-19 has infected nearly 5.6 million Americans and killed 174,178 — officially becoming the third leading cause of death in the country, surpassing accidents and strokes and Alzheimer’s disease.
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.