Home Health News Utah Study: Children transmit the coronavirus, but don't get sick themselves – AOL

Utah Study: Children transmit the coronavirus, but don't get sick themselves – AOL

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WASHINGTON — Children can transmit the coronavirus, a new study of childcare centers in Utah conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows, but they do not get sick themselves.

The new findings, released Friday, bolster previous research on childhood infections, and come from extensive contract tracing at three daycare centers in Salt Lake City between April 1 and July 10. Those findings could help shape the intense debate about how to reopen schools safely as the coronavirus continues to sicken thousands and kill hundreds daily.

This report describes transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among household members following exposure of 46 non–child care facility contacts linked to 12 children with COVID-19. (CDC)

President Trump has called for schools to reopen for in-person instruction, pointing to studies that seem to show that children do not become sick from the coronavirus. But teachers and the powerful unions that represent them, as well as many Democratic legislators, have said they have not received sufficient resources to return to the classroom

In many parts of the country, schools have switched to online classes.

The Utah findings offered mixed results, at least as far as the youngest children are concerned. The average age of the children at the three childcare centers was 7. Earlier studies have found that children younger than 10 appear to become sick and spread the virus less often than their older counterparts.

A total of 184 people either worked in one of the three childcare centers, attended one of the centers or were very close contacts, such as a parent, spouse or sibling. 

Thirteen children ultimately tested positive for the coronavirus. However, as the study notes, “all had mild or no symptoms” of COVID-19. Three had no symptoms at all.

Those children spread the virus to at least 12 people outside the childcare center environment. Six of these outside cases were of mothers of infected children, while another three were a brother or sister. One mother required hospitalization. Her child had been one of the asymptomatic coronavirus carriers. Another of the three asymptomatic children also transmitted the virus.

Notably, 71 percent of the cases remained confined to the adults and children within the three childcare centers. But in one case, an 8-month-old child transmitted the coronavirus to both of his or her parents.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during the coronavirus pandemic

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks at a news conference on July 6 ,2020 in New York City, where he announced that President Donald Trump is enabling the coronavirus pandemic by not wearing a mask and downplaying the problem. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 6: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a COVID-19 briefing on July 6, 2020 in New York City. On the 128th day since the first confirmed case in New York and on the first day of phase 3 of the reopening, Gov. Cuomo asked New Yorkers to continue to be smart while citing the rise of infections in other states. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 6: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a COVID-19 briefing on July 6, 2020 in New York City. On the 128th day since the first confirmed case in New York and on the first day of phase 3 of the reopening, Gov. Cuomo asked New Yorkers to continue to be smart while citing the rise of infections in other states. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 6: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a COVID-19 briefing on July 6, 2020 in New York City. On the 128th day since the first confirmed case in New York and on the first day of phase 3 of the reopening, Gov. Cuomo asked New Yorkers to continue to be smart while citing the rise of infections in other states. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 01: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a news conference on July 1, 2020 in New York City. The governor expressed alarm at Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci’s recent prediction that there could be 100,000 new Covid-19 cases per day and provided a number of updates related to an increase of states where out-of-state visitors will be required to quarantine for 14 days.
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NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – 2020/06/24: Governor Andrew Cuomo makes an announcement and holds media briefing at 3rd Avenue office. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont joined Cuomo with announcement of incoming travel advisory that all individuals traveling from states with significant community spread of COVID-19 quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state. This quarantine applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 6: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a COVID-19 briefing on July 6, 2020 in New York City. On the 128th day since the first confirmed case in New York and on the first day of phase 3 of the reopening, Gov. Cuomo asked New Yorkers to continue to be smart while citing the rise of infections in other states. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

BROOKLYN, NY – MAY 28: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo along with Comedian/Actor Chris Rock and Actress Rosie Perez holds daily covid-19 press conference to push mask use to protect against Coronavirus spread at Madison Square Boys and Girls Club on May 28, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York City. Credit: Mpi43/MediaPunch /IPX

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo steps from his car as he arrives at NewYork Stock Exchange to ring the opening bell as the trading floor partially reopens, Tuesday, May 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo briefs the media during a coronavirus news conference at his office in New York City, Saturday, May 9, 2020. (John Roca/New York Post via AP, Pool)

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In this photo provided by the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York Gov. Cuomo tries out a spraying device which is part of a three-step disinfecting process of a New York City subway car at the Corona Maintenance Facility in the Queens borough of of New York, Saturday, May 2, 2020. Cuomo announced on Thursday April 30, that New York City is shutting down its subway system each day from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. to increase cleaning of trains and stations during the coronavirus crisis. (Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via AP)

In this photo provided by the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority employee, left, explains part of a three-step disinfectant process of a New York City Subway train car to New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo at the Corona Maintenance Facility in the borough of Queens borough of New York, Saturday, May 2, 2020. Gov. Cuomo announced on Thursday April 30, that New York City is shutting down its subway system each day from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. to increase cleaning of trains and stations during the coronavirus crisis. (Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via AP)

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At all three daycare centers, temperatures were checked. But only two of the centers required adults to wear masks. The third — referred to as “Facility C” in the report — was by far the largest of the three, and required masks of neither children nor adults. Out of the 84 people there, 15 became sick.

“COVID-19 is less severe in children than it is in adults, but children can still play a role in transmission,” the CDC study concluded. 

Ongoing research suggests that COVID-19 infections can have potentially long-term effects on the heart and other organs, even in patients who had mild or even asymptomatic cases. It is not known whether and how these effects might manifest in children.

The CDC “also recommends the use of face masks, particularly among staff members, especially when children are too young to wear masks.”

The president has downplayed the efficacy of masks, and has refused to order a national mask mandate.

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