Although more than four months had passed since the World Health Organization officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic, there is still a lot more to learn about the disease. It’s a subject that cannot be treated lightly, as the new coronavirus killed more than 600,000 people worldwide, and the number keeps growing. But there’s also good news: more than 8.7 million infected people had been recovered.
Although COVID-19 has a pretty low mortality rate, its main concern is the high level of infectiousness. The disease can be passed from one person to another easily, but the worse news is that it’s more contagious than scientists initially thought.
Older children can spread COVID-19 just like adults
While so many are debating about school reopenings during this period, it seems like such a measure would be more problematic than predicted. A new study from South Korea comes to shed light. The scientists involved concluded that children between the ages of 10 and 19 years old have the ability to pass the virus to others at the same rate as adults do. However, the risk of infection coming from children under the age of 10 is much lower, but still not unexistent.
Michael Osterholm, who is an infectious diseases expert at the University of Minnesota, declared:
I fear that there has been this sense that kids just won’t get infected or don’t get infected in the same way as adults and that, therefore, they’re almost like a bubbled population,
There will be transmission,
What we have to do is accept that now and include that in our plans.
The new study appears to be highly reliable. South Korean researchers identified 5,706 people that reported COVID-19 symptoms between Jan. 20 and March 27. The scientists further traced 59,073 contacts of the “index cases.” The next step was to test all of the household contacts for each patient, and only symptomatic contacts outside the household were tested.
The main ways of being protected from the COVID-19 disease remain the basic ones: frequently washing our hands, avoid people who cough or sneeze, and respecting social distancing.